Graffiti Artists Losing Ground in New York

Is graffiti art or urban blight? That's long been the question in New York City, a graffiti hub since the 1960s, that's recently seen some beloved institutions fall.

In 2006, it was announced that 11 Spring Street – a 19th century NoLiTa building whose exterior bore two decades of spray paint and wheat paste artwork – would be demolished and rebuilt as condominiums.

And this year, the graffiti-covered, Long Island City building known as 5Pointz, which has housed graffiti artist studios for six years, is closing, after a collapsed stairwell led the Department of Buildings to demand $1 million of repairs – a sum the building owners couldn't afford.