Street art has transformed a formerly derelict warehouse district into a cultural destination. We wanted to see first-hand how street art rises from random graffiti to something more.

Many of the streets, while lively, retain their urban / graffiti / industrial character.

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At the same time, high-end — but arty — condos and lofts are being built. Gentrification is a double-edged sword. Affordable under-used districts harbor artists; artists create attractive value; development for people who want to be part of the art energy raises prices so the original artists can no longer afford to live and work there. And so it goes.

Wynwood Walls proper is a collection of curated wall art, and some sculpture.

We found many of the wall art fascinating, beautiful, fun, irreverent, and fine. Excerpts are often the most seductive.

While the rest of this post is images, which we hope you’ll enjoy, I’ve included at the end of the post the official description of how and why this neighborhood has evolved.

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Here is the description provided by Goldman Properties & Goldman Global Arts (clearly with a self-congratulatory PR bias, but informative nonetheless):

In the early 2000’s, Wynwood was much like any other industrial urban neighborhood that had fallen on hard timers. It had its share of failed manufacturing businesses, abandoned warehouses, and crime. Pedestrian activity was non-existent. Joey Goldman was tasked with finding the next zone for the Goldman Family; he discovered Wynwood.

Enter Tony Goldman, founder of Goldman Properties. Rather than work to erase what others considered blight, Tony envisioned a town center that highlighted what made Wynwood authentic and provided a place for people of all walks of life, from all over the world, to congregate, explore and be inspired. In 2009, The Wynwood Walls was born. Comprised of six separate warehouses, the exterior walls served as giant canvasses for the greatest street art collection ever assembled in one place.

In its nine years, The Wynwood Walls has helped ignite one of the largest art movements in history, elevating street art to a genre that is widely respected by art lovers of all economic classes and changing the paradigm of how people interact with art. Thought-provoking and celebratory of creativity and talent, The Wynwood Walls have become a focal point of what is happening in the world of street art. Since its inception, The Wynwood Walls has been a platform for more than 100 artists, representing over 20 countries, and covering over 85,000 square feet of walls. Since the passing of Tony in September 2012, his wife and Chairman of Goldman Properties, Janet Goldman, has lovingly continued to support Goldman’s legacy. The Wynwood Walls are a love letter from the Goldman family to the world and its curation continues to be a passion for its members.

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