When we first entered the former locker room areas of McCarren Pool, I was most pleased at this discovery. It is and was probably the most impressive graffiti discovery of 2010, period. While I know that is a huge, huge statement to make, you really must understand what we have here in these photos to truly appreciate the extent of the situation.
All of these photos were taken in 2010. All of the graffiti you see here (well, with one or two exceptions) was done inside the locker rooms of the pool during the 1980s. The date range of these tags runs from 1983 to approximately 1987. It is rather easy to conclude that during the years immediately after the pool was closed, the entire site was completely abandoned – doors left open, and vandals taking full advantage. At some point in the late 80s the buildings were sealed up with concrete and reinforced iron. From that point on, even while the exterior of the building became an illegal graffiti haven, no other graffiti artists gained access to the locker rooms.
This is most likely the last graffiti find of this variety in NYC to have survived until 2010. I can say this with a high regard of authority, having been in nearly every abandoned building within NYC over the last 20 years. The stock of abandoned buildings here was decimated during this time. Out of hundreds of such buildings the only intact walls of pure 1980s graffiti I ever found was the Graffiti Room in Greenpoint Terminal Market.
These photos represent a small portion of the dozens I took of this amazing graffiti find. Sadly, as of this last month, the locker rooms at McCarren Pool have been completely gutted. No trace remains of nearly all of this graffiti. These photos are the only proof it ever survived this long. I am of course, most pleased to be able to present them to you. Enjoy.
Stay tuned for tomorrows episode, where we go deep into the tunnels (!!!) and expose even more amazing finds.