Beloved Brooklyn Mural of Futuristic Elephants Will Be Demolished to Make Way for Condos

A mural by the street art group 303 Collective that has brightened an otherwise unremarkable block Water Street in Brooklyn’s DUMBO neighborhood and served as the backdrop for thousands of newlywed couples’ wedding photos — even prompting a search for the first couple to do so in 2011 — will be demolished if a luxury housing development proposed for the site is approved.

The DUMBO mural, which was painted by Craig Anthony Miller and fellow 303 Collective members John Breiner, Coby Kennedy, and Thomas Warren back in 2009 features features a trio of elephants executed in different styles and a cupid-like angel figure against a jungle backdrop, and was recently featured in ARTINFO‘s list of the 20 best places to see street art in New York City. (Tellingly, it is not the only place on the list that is at risk of being destroyed.)

Though the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) has asked the developer to modify plans for the six-story residential building, the Brooklyn Paper reports that preservationists expect the project will eventually e approved, paving the way for the demolition of the garage on whose wall the mural was created over the course of four days (see the video below).

“Overall, more cues need to be taken from the district and not from Kentucky or France,” the Historic Districts Council said in a statement. All of DUMBO is a designated historic district, meaning that all development projects in the area must be approved by the LPC. Nevertheless, such demands are not likely to save the bright elephant mural, whose days of serving as the gritty backdrop for young couples’ nuptial photographs are surely numbered.

— Benjamin Sutton

(Photo by the author.)