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City councilman backs push to landmark a rare Keith Haring mural

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Councilman Mark Levine seeks to prevent the mural from being destroyed by future developers

A rare Keith Haring mural within the single room occupancy (SRO) building at West 108th Street in Morningside Heights might avoid destruction as a city official pushes for the site to receive landmark status.

According to DNAinfo, City Council Mark Levine is looking to secure landmark status for the mural painted in the early eighties by the iconic artist. "The pending sale of this building not only puts tenants at risk, it threatens an invaluable piece of our community’s cultural legacy," he declared in a statement. Haring created the piece on a whim one night, when the building was home to a Catholic youth organization named Grace House, as a group of kids watched him paint.

Earlier this month, the 16 tenants of the small rental building were forced to move out as the owners, Church of the Ascension, prepared for a possible sale to developers amid financial struggles. While the tenants were upset over losing their homes, many of them were considerably concerned for the fate of the mural. Both tenants and former Grace House program members are exploring all options and doing whatever they can to save the mural.