Miami Graffiti

Origin of the term "Penit"
Over time the term has come to be used for any illegal graffiti oriented building (or buildings) that has become frequented by a variety of writers, or become an epicenter for graffiti in an area. The original "Penit" was the graffiti warehouse located in the Fountainbleau area in South Doral. It was theorized that the building was intended to be a Penitentiary, but was never completed, so it was referred to as "The Penit". Over time the term has become sometimes used/spelled as "Penant", "Pennet", or "Penet". Due to the lack of agreed upon spelling or pronunciation, we have gone with a simple spelling for uniformity and usefulness on the site. Some of the below locations have their names slightly adjusted from their original names to fit within a common naming scheme.

The Penit (Sometimes called: Fountainbleau Penit or Doral Penit) : Fontainebleau Blvd. & 96th Ave.
Activity : 1983 - 1994? (Demolished)
Theorized at the time that the building was intended to be a Penitentiary, but was never completed. It was a 3 or 4 story building that had all the cement work complete, including dark stairways and an accessible rooftop, but no finished walls or anything beyond cement and cinder blocks. It was located in the middle of a sawgrass filled field in what was a relatively undeveloped part of Miami-Dade. It was sometimes referred to as the Fountainbleau Penit or the Doral Penit, because it is in the South Doral area, sometimes called the Fountainbleau area. There were 10 foot tall words "Christ Jesus" painted on the frontside of the building. In between the words was a 15 foot tall cross with the words "Lord King Over Miami" written around it. It was the first major graffiti warehouse in the Miami area, and many crews and gangs used to meetup and hang around there. The land it was on is now a housing development/apartments south of the Dolphin Expressway (836). There are discrepancies about how to spell the name, as it is located in the "Fountainbleau" area, but on 'Fontainebleau" Blvd.

Airport Penit (Sometimes called: Little Penit, Baby Penit, or 7th St. Penit) : NW 7th St. & NW 47th Ave.
Activity : 1983 - 2000? (Demolished)
An uncompleted office building, along Blue Lagoon Lake south of the Miami Airport. It had all the cement work complete, including stairways and an open elevator shaft, but no walls or anything beyond cement. It was in the middle of a large open lot and had a great view of 836. It was 4 floors high, with roughly room for 6-10 pieces on each floor, it also had an outside terrace/balcony area along most sides/floors of it that made it very easy to do pieces visible from 836. There was a vacant elevator shaft in the middle of the building with a couple thousand spray cans piled along the bottom. The bottom floor did not have any windows and was dark and mostly unused until (supposedly) 'Nine HA' took a sledgehammer to several portions of the wall and allowed some light in. Early on this penit was referred to as the 'Baby Penit' or 'Little Penit' due to the fact it was a very similar, but smaller, version of the first penit, Doral. By the time they demolished it there was probably well over 1000 layers of paint on some of the walls because the penit was around so long.

Ives Cement Factory (Penit) : NE 205th St. & 16th Ave.
Activity : 198? - Late 1985 (Demolished)
The cement factory was on Ives Dairy Rd., close to the 7-11, right near I-95. The walls were laid out similar to the unfinished houses of the Malibu Penit. It had a big iron conveyor belt that went all the way up to the top of the silo. It had been abandoned for a long time and was mostly covered in trees and vegetation. It was a party spot for the local teenagers, so there were broken bottles all over the place and typical white-boy rocker type graffiti on what walls could be seen. The last piece to run on the main wall was "Merry Christmas Miami" by Frosty and friends.

The Chamber (Penit) : 66 SW 6th St.
Activity : 1988 - 1994? (Renovated)
Located in the Brickell area, near the Miami River. Its rooftop was visible from the Metrorail. It is now the nightclub named Bricks.

Hialeah Penit (Sometimes called The Warehouse) : NW 79th St. & NW 35th Ave.
Activity : 1989 - 2003 (Demolished)
Originally it was simply called "The Warehouse". After several years the term Penit became more broad in use, and it earned its common name of the "Hialeah Penit". It was definitely the largest (in terms of wallspace), and most active graffiti penit in Miami's history. It was originally occupied by Bodin Apparel Inc., a clothing manufacturer, in the 1970's. In 1981 it was acquired by Ace Parker Inc. and used as a printing facility where they printed Hustler Magazine among other things. It eventually became abandoned in 1986 due to bankruptcy and complaints about the noise and fumes from chemicals by residents of the neigboring trailer parks. After it became abandoned, Poem of 7UP crew found it and started spreading the word. It covered a very large lot on the south side of 79th street that backed up along the heavily used Hialeah FEC train tracks. The back loading dock was a heavily pieced area, sometimes called 'the stage'. As well as all the trackside walls leading up to the Penit from both directions. It had a dank/dark two story office area located in the middle of the complex that still contained doors and carpeting. It was possible to get on the roof and several people did blockbusters visible from the nearby Metrorail. In June of 1992, the large pile of tires that was being illegally dumped there and had been building up in the largest trackside room of the warehouse, caught fire and destroyed portions of the roof and wall. Miami-Dade was well aware of the Penit and did show up from time to time, but this was also because the site was chemically contaminated and placed on the Superfund List. It was cleaned up in the early 1990's until 1996 when it was deemed "safe". There were probably over 1000 layers of paint on some of the walls by the time they demolished it. There was also what was called the "Baby Hialeah Penit" located down the tracks to the east, near the Metro-Rail Station. It was demolished in 2003 around the same time as the original Penit structure.

Modernage Penit : US1 & Marlin Rd.
Activity : 1992 - 1995 (Demolished)
Located in the Cutler Ridge area, it was originally a furniture store/outlet for the Modernage company. After Hurricane Andrew in 1992 the building was damaged and never repaired and soon became a penit. It had smooth walls and was 2 floors tall, often frequented by Ener (RIP), of WOW crew. In roughly 1994-95, channel 10 news had a feature on the demolishing of the "last eyesore of Hurricane Andrew", and it was subsequently knocked down. There is now a BJ's wholesale where it used to be.

Malibu Penit (Sometimes called Malibu Houses) : NW 7th St. & NW 79th Ave.
Activity : 1992 - 2000? (Demolished)
A half-finished housing development located near what was previously the Malibu Grand Prix (now a parking garage), southwest of the intersection of 826 & 836 (Just North of the Mall of the Americas). It was composed of a series of about 15 unfinished houses, with only a foundation/floor and a few cement block walls standing, it made an ideal outdoor penit. It is now an apartment complex.

Agripost Penit : NW 207th Dr. & NW 47th Ave.
Activity : 1995 - Early 2001 (Renovated)
Located on 20 acres of land owned by the Department of Children and Family Services, right along the north edge of Dade county. In 1987 Agripost Inc. got rights to build a recycling facility on the premises, that was intended to create 'agri-soil' through an industrial composting process. Newco Structues Inc., constructed a 320,094-square foot metal warehouse for them, and they began operating in the fall of 1989. In 1990 complaints began coming in from a nearby school and other facilities about the smell and other environmental concerns. In 1991 the county revoked their license saying they had violated the agreement of their zoning, and it was closed. This forced the company into bankruptcy and they vacated the premises. In 1995 the land reverted back to Department of Children and Family Services, and soon after it became heavily used as a penit. The penit was mostly used by MSG and other Carol City crews, and sometimes referred to as the "Carol City Penit". They eventually found a new leasee and the property was renovated in 2001.

Griffin Penit (Sometimes called The Waterhole) : Griffin Rd & I-95
Activity : 1990? - 1997 (Demolished)
Located southwest of the intersection of I-95 & Griffin Road, the land is now occupied by Bass Pro Shops & the Fishing Hall of Fame. It was a large swath of land with several abandoned warehouses on it, right along I-95. It was most famous for a Crome roller blockbuster along the south side of the building that had very high visibility from the highway. There were two main structures on the property: A cinder block warehouse with loading dock, and a metal storage type warehouse that was rusting away. Also nearby on the northeast side of the intersection of Griffin & I95 (along I95), there was a small cement building that people painted in the woods. It was popularly called the Crack Kilz Wall after a production that was done there by KSN crew. It was demolished around the same time as the main penit in 1997.

The Factory Penit : Near US1 & Carribean
Activity : ? - 1996/97 (Demolished)
Located in the Cutler Ridge area off US1, it was across from where the mall with Target is now.

Rinker Penit : Roughly NW 12th St. & 122nd Ave.
Activity : ? - 1998 (Demolished)
An old abandoned train station/warehouse for the Rinker Cement company. Demolished in 1998 when they started preparations for Dolphin Mall. It was very active in 1995-1996.

Coconut Grove Penit : 2951 South Bayshore Drive
Activity : 1993 - 1999 (Renovated)
It was originally a 12-story tall hotel called "The Mutiny" that had a club of the same name in it's basement. It was a notorious coke dealer hangout in the 70-80's, and the epicenter of Miami's Boom during the Cocaine era. In 1989, a Brazilian guy bought it and gutted the entire thing to create luxury apartments. Several years later, before it had been renovated, Hurricane Andrew struck and derailed all plans to rehab the facilities. Soon after it became a crackhead/squatter infested building, as well as writers starting to turn it into a penit. The same guy who bought it did eventually convert it back to a hotel/condos called The Mutiny, which ironically helped start the second Miami Boom. As far as penits go, it was rather pathetic, it had only two usable walls on each floor, and there were large holes in the floor (like the airport penit) where you could fall through. Being that it was a 12-story tower, a slip through one of the holes could mean certain death.

Bobby Maduro Stadium Penit : NW 23rd St. & NW 10th Ave
Activity : 1996 - 2001 (Demolished)
Built in 1949 for baseball spring training, it was used by the Baltimore Orioles until they left the ballpark in 1990. After that it remained unused and the infield started filling up with abandoned appliances and foliage. Graffiti started popping up inside in the mid 90's, and continued to flourish until the structure was knocked down in 2001 to make way for apartments. The entire outfield wall was covered in pieces and productions, many by well know foreign writers.

Marina Penit (Marine Stadium Penit) : [undisclosed]
Activity : 1997 - Present
Formerly the Sea Stadium for the Miami Seaquarium, it was used for boat racing, water skiing shows, and concerts. It was deemed structurally unsound after Hurricane Andrew when they found cracks in the concrete structure. Though the structure is still standing fine 15 years later, they were probably mostly concerned because the concrete roof over the seating area is supposedly one of the largest directly unsupported expanses of hanging concrete in the world. Some of the earliest pieceing began there in 1997, but it became much more popular after the demolition of the Airport, Malibu, and Hialeah Penits. It has a 2 story concession area where most piecing takes place, and then a large stadium seating area that overlooks an inlet from Biscayne Bay frequently used by boaters & skiers. It is also possible to access the roof through a very rickety announcer booth precariously suspended above the seats in the middle of the stadium. To get to the ladder that leads to the roof you have to jump a gap. Their is no floor under the ladder, so if you fall, you are going about 30 feet down into broken glass and busted metal seats unless you can grab onto the rusting metal structure around you before you fall. The location has a 24 hour security guard, and is frequented by the Miami-Dade Police department for training exercises. There has been talk in 2008 of refurbishing the structure for use by the city, but plans have yet to be carried out.

Army Penit : NW 202nd St. & 61st Ave.
Activity : 1999? - 2005
Constructed by the Army in early 1965 in response to the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was an above ground missile launching facility for the Nike Missile site titled HM-03 C/2/52. These Nike sites were split into two locations. One was the radar communications and control facility(IFC), where they did targeting and fire control, and the other was the Launcher area, with the actual missile silos (or hangars in this case). The now demolished IFC area was located on the NW side of the intersection of NW 183rd St. and 57th Ave. This was the launching facility which consisted of 3 hangars on the western side of the area, where missiles were stored, and then rolled out along rails when needed to be fired. All the Nike Missile sites in South Florida were shut down and decommissioned in mid-1979, this site in particular was shut down in May of that year, but a majority of the buildings remained standing until about 2005. There were 5 larger buildings on the property and a few smaller ones scattered around, 3 of which were missile storage hangars, the other ones included the security post, barracks and mess hall, there were also concrete bunkers dug out in a few of the hills around the property, complete with ladders, etc. The facility was navigable by a winding loop paved road inside the compound that was accessible off NW 202nd St. The penit being located only a few miles from the Agripost Penit, it was frequented mostly by MSG crew and other Carol City writers. The Army also frequented it for training purposes, often kicking writers out. The structures on the site were removed sometime around 2005 and now only the road and concrete slabs remain.

Krome Penit : [undisclosed]
Activity : 1999? - Present
Constructed by the Army in early 1965 in response to the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was the Integrated Fire Control(IFC) Facility for the Nike Missile site titled HM-95 D/2/52. No, it was not an Insane Asylum. These Nike sites were split into two locations. One was the radar communications and control facility (IFC), where they did targeting and fire control, and the other was the Launcher area (L), with the actual missile sheds/silos. The Launcher area was located where what is now the Krome INS Facility. All the Nike Missile sites in South Florida were shut down and decommissioned in mid-1979 and the site was most likely abandoned and partially dismantled at that point. In 1980 the site was revived and was used in some capacity during the Mariel Boatlift to house immigrants, but eventually became unused again after the focus shifted to the current INS Krome facility. After that it became used by the CIA as a High Frequency Radio site as well as storage for an emergency command vehicle. Like many of South Florida's Penits, it probably became unused after damage during Hurriance Andrew and was eventually abandoned. It subsequently became a penit that got popular in the early 2000's after the demolition of the Hialeah, Malibu, and Airport Penits. It was probably discovered by Petro of TE crew, who threw the first tag in it, and soon brought the rest of his crew to paint there. A majority of the building is in a barracks style, with many small rooms off a main hallyway, with several large rooms on the northwest side of the structures. The open fields to the north and west of the building originally held large radio towers for scanning for incoming planes/missiles. It is frequently visited by paintballers, the police, and paranormal nuts who falsely beleive it is an insane asylum.

**Popular Graf Walls (Not Considered Penits):

Westchester/Coral Way Wall of Fame : Coral Way & 97th Ave.
Activity : 1986 - 1993 (buffed)
Illegal wall located in the Westchester area and started by Hec of MOB crew.

Wall of Fame North (Sometimes called: Mile of Fame, or Hallandale Wall) : I-95 & County Line Road
Activity : 1989 - November 2006 (Demolished) - Replaced with Sound Wall in 2007
It was a two section wall that surrounded a trailer park right along the Dade-Broward line. The I-95 highway east facing side was heavily bombed, and the south facing side was used for many pieces/productions in the 90's. It went legal in 1991 thanks to Siner, and became a central hub for writers in the Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach areas until it got heated up and outlawed around 1994. There was a brief period when the east wall was buffed and covered with foliage and mostly unused. But eventually the foliage was removed and the east wall was hit nonstop until its demolition in November 2006, and then in early 2007 a standard I-95 type sound wall barrier was built in its place.

Wall of Fame South : 156th St. & US1
Activity : 1989 - ? (Demolished)
Another Wall of Fame located in South Dade behind a Miami Subs, both the wall and store have since been knocked down.

The Bakehouse Art Complex : NW 32nd St. & 6th Ave.
Activity : 1986? - ?
To the southeast of the intersection of I-95 and 112 lies the infamous Bakehouse. It was one of the first legal spots to emerge in Miami-Dade county, other than a handful of local bodegas, arcades, and schools. Originally built in the early 1920's for a bread baking organization called American Bakers Company, their operation shut down in the 1970's and the structure was scheduled to be demolished. The Grove House Art Collective moved in and bought the property during the early 1980's and named it The Bakehouse. With the intention for it to serve as a non-profit artist center for emerging and mid-career artists. It still operates to this day in that capacity. In the 1980's the surrounding areas were crime and poverty stricken, so when The Bakehouse opened they started various community outreach programs. One of those was allowing inner-city kids to paint on the building itself and give it some color. It was a great vantage point for fame as it is right along side, and visible from, I-95. Especially the wall on the roof facing I-95 that was painted heavily by "Seme" and "Sneek" of VO5. The Bakehouse remains one of the pivotal spots to paint in the early years of Miami Graffiti.

Seel's Bridge & Dam Wall (Dam Tracks) : Along the tracks South of SW 24th St. & parallel to SW 69th Ave.
Activity : 1985 - Present
It started as two small cement walls bordering a train bridge over a canal, originally frequented by Seel and AIM/VIP crew in the 1980's. Eventually DAM crew started to illegaly paint on the warehouses located along train tracks to the north of the bridge, and south of Coral Way. Soon the whole strip of warehouses along the tracks had frequent activity from the mid to late 1990's, especially after the Malibu Penit was knocked down. A majority of the illegal activity eventually died out from increased pressure from building owners and neighborhood residents.

Love House : SW 71st Ave. & 29th Road
Activity : 1989 - 1996 (Demolished)
A small abandoned house (still with furniture inside) in a field in South Miami, frequented by AIM crew. Named as such because of a piece done on the side of the building by AIM crew that said "Love".

FA Wall / Winn Dixie Wall : SW 147th Ave. & Bird Road
Activity : 1989 - 1993 (Buffed)
Located on a wall behind a strip mall with a Winn Dixie in it. During the construction of Braddock Senior High, FA began doing pieces and then AIM and BOM followed. It stayed that way until they built a townhouse community nearby and then it was buffed for good.

Beach High Wall : Prairie Ave. & W. 23rd St.
The courts located in the sports field behind Miami Beach Senior High have had graffiti activity going on for decades.

South Beach : 15th-17th St. & Ocean Drive
Activity : 1988 - 1994? (Renovated back into hotels)
A series of abandoned buildings & hotels from 15th street to 17th street along Ocean Drive. Used during the late 80's before the revitalization of South Beach.

Falls Wall : Behind Publix across from The Falls - 136st and 107th ave
Activity : 2001 - 2004 (closed as legal wall)
Legal wall sparked off by a generous property owner who allowed several writers to do productions. It soon turned into weekly piecing and productions going on from a much wider group of writers. It eventually died out due to community/city complaints about the activity in the area.

Miami Dade College Wall : SW 104th St. & 110th Ave.
Activity : ? - 2003 (Demolished)
Miami Dade College had a small wall inside some woods/forest on the grounds of the Kendall Campus. It had enough room for about a half dozen pieces and was demolished in 03-04.

Wynwood Tracks & Warehouses : Roughly NE 10th-29th St. near NE 2nd Ave.
An area of high activity during the late 1990's. It was focused around the abandoned FEC railroad tracks (along the west of NE 2nd Ave.) north of downtown from roughly 10th Street up to 29th Street. There was a mix of legal and illegal productions done on the warehouses along the tracks, and over time it died out by increased pressure from the Miami Police and building owners. It has since seen a resurgance with the development of Wynwood as an Art area, and the arrival of Art Basel and Primary Flight.

The Little Haiti Wall : NE 73rd St. & 3rd Ct.
Activity : 2005 - 2008 (closed as legal wall)
Legal wall along the FEC tracks in a Little Haiti warehouse area. It was started by a generous property owner who allowed graffiti artists to paint legally on the walls surrounding a warehouse complex that they rented out to fine artists for studio space. It was painted heavily for several years. Eventually the Miami Gang Unit started harassing writers at the wall, also pressure from surrounding property owners about excessive graffiti showing up on their buildings, forced the property owner to close the wall as a legal spot to paint.

Opa-Locka Warehouse : NW 38th ave. & 132nd St.
Abanonded warehouse in the Opa-Locka area, near the flea market.

Braddock Little Spot : ?
Abandoned vacant lot composed mainly of four 100 ft walls and one 50 foot wall. Frequently visited by Hoax, Desem, and Ceme. It was busy from 1995 to 2000 when a single family home was constructed on the site.

Carol City Utility Complex : NW 37th ave. & 179th St.
Water treatment facility or some kind of public utility building located in Carol City. With 9 foot walls surrounding the complex.

- Some Penits, Spots, Walls, and Addresses have been left off this page to protect ongoing artwork -

---All text is Copyright