Berlin Wall Monument (Chicago)

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Berlin Wall Monument
Chicago - Berlin Wall Night.jpg
The Berlin Wall Monument in Chicago, exhibiting the side originally facing West Germany
Coordinates 41°57′58″N 87°41′19″W / 41.966165°N 87.688513°W / 41.966165; -87.688513Coordinates: 41°57′58″N 87°41′19″W / 41.966165°N 87.688513°W / 41.966165; -87.688513
Location Lincoln Square, Chicago
Type Wall fragment
Material Concrete

The Berlin Wall Monument in Chicago is an exhibit on display at the Western Brown Line CTA station. The monument contains a large segment of the Berlin Wall and a plaque describing its dedication to the city.

History[edit]

Monument plaque describing the dedication to Chicago.

Since the fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989, fragments of the Berlin Wall have been donated to various cities in the world. Chicago was offered a piece of the wall in 2008 by the German government[1][2] and was placed in the Lincoln Square neighborhood due to its German roots.[2] The particular segment of the wall donated came from the fourth phase of the Berlin Wall's construction,[3] called Grenzmauer 75. The dedication was attended by 120 residents and included several prominent individuals such as Erich Himmel of United German American Societies of Greater Chicago, Alderman Gene Schulter, Chicago Transit Authority President Ron Huberman, and the U.S. diplomat and chargé d’affaires to Germany, James D. Bindenagel.[4]

Description[edit]

The wall segment is visible on both sides. The side that originally faced West Germany contains sprayed graffiti and messages from the time the wall was standing;[5] the side that faced East Germany, on the other hand, is entirely blank.[2]

The monument also contains a plaque describing the dedication and reasoning behind why the wall fragment was donated. The inscription reads:

"Segment of the Berlin Wall (1961 - 1989) dedicated by the City of Berlin to the citizens of Chicago as an expression of its gratitude for the invaluable assistance rendered by the United States of America in securing the safety and freedom of Berlin, in bringing down the Wall, and in supporting reunification of Germany and Berlin."

The inscription contains affirmations of acceptance from many representative individuals and businesses of both Chicago and Germany at the time including Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, Mayor of Berlin Klaus Wowereit, German Consul General Wolfgang Droutz, Lufthansa, and the Chicago Transit Authority.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "German Neighborhood in Chicago - Lincoln Square and Ravenswood". Chicago Dossier. Denail Multimedia LLC. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c B., Mona. "A Piece of Berlin in Lincoln Square". Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce. Lincoln Square Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  3. ^ Veronse, Keith (23 August 2012). "Your piece of the Berlin Wall is not special". io9. Gawker Media. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  4. ^ "Berlin Wall Installation". The Office of Community, Government and International Affairs. DePaul University. Retrieved 22 July 2013. 
  5. ^ Tucker, Dorothy (14 May 2012). "Chicago To Show Off German Roots During NATO Summit". CBS Chicago. CBS Radio Inc. Retrieved 22 July 2013.