Berlin Wall Section – New York, New York - Atlas Obscura
Unusual adventures and hidden discoveries. Explore our 2018 trips now »

New York, New York

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, the North Cove Marina, and the 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.

 

Know Before You Go

Accessible from E,M Trains at 53rd Street Station.