First Look at a Graffiti-Cleansed Germania Bank Building on the Bowery
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Photo: Joshua Gross
Let the erasure begin.
After months of threats, real estate mogul Aby Rosen finally decided to erase the graffiti from 190 Bowery, the 1898-vintage Germania Bank Building. There had been several prior instances during which removal methods were tested, yet no concrete action until now.
The graffiti removal was expected; rumors abounded that it would happen last month, and the massive decade-old “NEKST” tag would remain. Guess there was a delay in the process. The first few panels of “buffing tape” arrived last Tuesday, and the effort continued through the end of the week. The above shot is an updated look at the Spring Street facade as of yesterday afternoon.
The Great Bowery – the creative agency occupying the bulk of the upstairs footprint – wasn’t thrilled with the loss. “We would have much preferred the graffiti stay,” COO Melissa Kelly told Mass Appeal a couple weeks ago. “However we are really grateful that the landlord agreed to save the culturally significant NEKST piece.”
NEKST began writing in 1996 (as “Next”) and eventually ascended the ladder to become a heavyweight in the scene. He once stated in an interview that “my work has always been about scale and visibility.” The Houston-based street writer died back in December 2012.
Aby Rosen opted to act at the outset of the holiday, a likely ploy to avoid the spotlight during the mass exodus. As previously reported, Rosen purchased 190 Bowery from artist Jay Maisel for $55 million two years ago.