Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall




at United Nations

November 9, 2019 will mark the 30th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, in 1989. It was a wall that divided the East and West part of Germany for more than twenty-eight years ~ and a perfect canvas for artists to express their feelings in creative and colorful works that became  a tourist attraction on the West side. While those living on the East side were not permitted to write on that side of the wall.

The United States was the recipient of several pieces of the wall. Hyde Park received two sections which stand outside the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park; a piece of the wall is on display in the food court of Bausch and Lomb Headquarters in Rochester, New York; a section is on view outside the Stony Point Justice Court in Stony Point, New York and a section stands behind the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology in Armory Square in Syracuse, New York.

A piece of the Berlin Wall on the grounds of the United Nations

New York City is the home to four segments of the Berlin Wall.

In 2001, Germany presented the United Nations with a gift of three pieces from the Berlin Wall featuring graffiti by Kani Alavi ~ Image above.

Two sections can be found between Gateway Plaza and the North Cove marina in the World Financial Center in Battery City, (below), when a friendship concert was held in New York City in 2004 featuring the Julliard School music conservatory and Hochschule für Musik Berlin “Hanns Eisler”.

in Battery City

After the concert, two sections of the Wall were installed in Battery Park as a symbol of the bond between the US metropolis and the German capital, and on the 15th Anniversary of the dismantling of the Berlin Wall.

in Battery City

Below, is the back side of the painting above. These segments were originally located in downtown Berlin in the area between Potsdamer Platz and Leipziger Platz. They were not exposed to the West (“Outer Wall”), but part of the Inner Wall that was designed to prevent East Germans from entering the heavily guarded death strip between the Inner and the Outer Wall.

in Battery City

A third section of the Berlin Wall was purchased by Jerry and Rob Speyer in the early 1990s for their head office, Speyer Real Estate Building located at 520 Madison Avenue. It was originally located in an attached pocket-park, but moved indoors a few years ago, to protect it from the elements. (below).

Speyer Building, 520 Madison Avenue Lobby. Image via tripadvisor.com

A fourth section of the Berlin Wall can be found, in of all places, the museum ~ Ripley’s Believe it or Not in Times Square! After the fall of the Wall, Ripley’s began collecting. The collection has grown to 32 pieces of wall that make up 16 ten-foot by ten-foot sections. Each piece weighing 1,200 pounds, with the entire collection weighing 40,000 pounds, and located in a variety of the museum’s locations. Ripley’s is proud to own the largest collection of Berlin Wall segments in North America.

Ripley’s Believe it or Not Times Square permanently closed in 2021. The section of the Berlin Wall that was on view at that location in now in storage, awaiting redeployment to a future museum.

This particular piece is not located in the company’s Times Square location. Image via ripples.com

Take a look at a list of where many of the Berlin Wall segments now reside, and a map of where these pieces are in our area:

List of all berlin wall segment 

Map of where they are in the USA