Landmarks Approves Restoration and Conversion of 190 Bowery With Graffiti

190 bowery spring street exterior
Comments (10)
  1. David Pearson says:

    I applaud the restoration of this building.
    However by not removing the blight of criminal activity is wrong on so many levels.

  2. M Rouchell says:

    How ****ing idiotic!! Graffiti is not art. It’s VANDALISM! How stupid are these commissioners for praising the retention of the graffiti!!

  3. Joey Korom says:

    I wholeheartedly agree. The facades should be scrubbed clean. The graffiti here is really disgusting and it mars the beauty of the architecture and competes with the design. How awful to retain this scourge.

  4. Freddy H says:

    The Landmarks Commission has utterly perverted its purpose through the complete failure of the Commissioners’ grasp of reality. Some civic-minded people should post a meetup and whitewash the entire ground floor––try to preserve the graffiti then, morons!

  5. L Cauthen says:

    Hmmm. I guess beauty really is in the eye of the beholder. I think the LPC, CB2 HDC and Bowery Alliance of Neighbors should all be commended for seeing the value in maintaining the graffiti. I am curious to know what happened to the squatters I undertood to have occupied the building for several years. Any insight on that part of the story would be appreciated.

  6. Yacob says:

    @L Cauthen, the building was not occupied by squatters, it was owned and occupied by the photographer Jay Maisel and his family. He bought it for $102k in 1966 when he was 35. He was most famous for his photo of Miles Davis that was used as the cover for the 1959 “Kind of Blue” album.

  7. L Cauthen says:

    @Yacob thanks so much for the clarification! And, yes I am familiar with Mr. Maisel and the photo. I just didn’t know that he was the one that owned the property. Regards.

  8. Mike Greenberg says:

    If graffiti is vandalism, that’s only because its often applied without permission. But I don’t believe that anyone would argue graffiti is vandalism if it appears on a canvas in an art show, right? You might not appreciate it — much of modern art is controversial and not universally appreciated — but, at least in an art show, its clearly not vandalism. So the philosophical question is, when “art” is applied without permission to private and public structures, is it always “vandalism” and not “art”? Can graffiti be both? Is it a question of permission to apply it? The taste of the beholder? Certainly I think we can all admit that its at least a topic of debate. By the way, I own the real estate company (Level Group) whose store is directly across the street on 6 Spring. Personally, I think the graffiti IS an art form and is worthy of protection, although a building owner should have the right to either preserve it or scrub it, as they wish. Its their building. Just as they can design a building that we find ugly, or allow a building to become weathered and distressed (subject to laws), so they can decide to retain exterior graffiti or scrub it, especially since it was applied without their consent in the first place. Personally, I enjoy the look of 190 Bowery’s graffiti. And as that neighborhood continues to see more and more new development, that graffiti will increasingly become an anachronism that will remind us of the rock and roll heritage of that neighborhood which, like CBGB, is now long gone….

  9. SEMZ says:


  10. A Nerd says:

    Grafifti on a canvas is still crap, not art. It has nothing to do with permission. It’s appalling that this commission would allow such blight to persist. It is the duty of every property owner to have graffiti removed out of respect to neighbors. How is it that people have become so dumb that such an obvious point can be lost.

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