The Wholesale Whitewashing of 190 Bowery Continues this Week

Posted on: July 6th, 2016 at 5:15 am by
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The Germania Bank Building on the Bowery is now one week into its big hose-down. Current owner Aby Rosen (aka RFR Realty) began the graffiti removal around this time last week, and brought out the big guns for the task. Not just those eraser panels, but a cherry picker for the pesky hard-to-reach tags five stories up. (In a stroke of irony, the vehicle itself was vandalized.)

This wholesale whitewashing of the facade has echoes of 11 Spring Street. The so-called Candle Building just down the block was also a Mecca for graffiti until the developers got their meat-hooks into it nine years ago. It was later washed, polished, and carved into three ginormous condo units.

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Meanwhile, the decade-old NEKST tag will remain on the Bowery facade, despite a partial cleanse earlier this spring. In doing so, Rosen is seemingly trying to maintain a controlled setting, much like when graffiti goes indoors. Taggers will return, though, and a bomb-vs-buff war is likely.

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.

As previously reported, Rosen purchased 190 Bowery from artist Jay Maisel for $55 million two years ago.

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