Berlin Wall Section – New York, New York - Atlas Obscura

Berlin Wall Section

A celebration of capitalism in Midtown. 


Near the entrance of an office building in the middle of midtown, by a set of tables where business people sit down and eat their lunches every day, sits in the shadow of a literal slice of history.

After the fall of the Berlin Wall, pieces were divided up and sold. Four of these pieces reside in New York City, one of the pieces stands in a garden near the UN building, a section sits at the entrance of the Intrepid Air and Space Museum, and one between the Gateway Plaza, North Cove Marina, and World Financial Center. 

There is a sort of symbolic significance with the section of the wall on Madison Avenue. The piece stands by itself by an office building, straight in the middle of the bustling midtown, not near any other significant landmarks like the other sections of the wall. This piece of the wall stands among the people as a daily part of life, much like how the wall was a part of daily life in Berlin all those years ago.

So while you eat your lunch in the shadow of this Berlin wall, think about the sad rations of bland food that the people have to eat East Berlin, and revel in the fact that you’re here, in Midtown, celebrating capitalism next to the Berlin Wall.

Update August 2017: Still located at 520 Madison, the pieces have been moved inside due to damage occurring to them from a nearby water fountain. 

Update February 2018: The Three sections of the Berlin Wall have been removed from the building at 520 Madison Avenue. It has been said they might be erected in Rockefeller Center sometime by mid-2018.

Update October 2018: The wall is no longer at 520 Madison Ave. It’s now at 393 South End Ave.

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