Berlin Wall Slabs.

Berlin Wall Slabs

Field review by the editors.

Mountain View, California

Berlin Wall slabs stand around the world as symbols of the Cold War's conclusion. But this pair of artfully battered concrete sections may be unique -- toppled twice. First they came down in 1989 when the division of East and West Germany ended; and then decades later when the inspirational walls were exiled from an office building parking lot.

Berlin Wall Slabs.

The two 8-foot-tall Berlin Wall slabs were first imported to California by German-born real estate developer Frank Golzen, who stood them at one of his business plazas in Silicon Valley and titled them "A Tribute to American Resolve."

After Golzen died, Google bought the property and told Golzen's family to get the Wall off its lawn. The family found an appreciative new home at Mountainview's public library, where the Berlin Wall slabs moved in November 2013.

We visited the former parking lot site, perhaps the more appropriate venue, in the heart of free enterprise's engine of democracy. But the lot behind Google's building is narrow, and the company probably didn't want feverish wall worshipers brushing against its tenant's cars.

The current wall site, several miles away, is along a sidewalk next to the public library's entrance. The chipped slabs are behind glass, perhaps to discourage new graffiti that would mar the old graffiti. The most prominent bit, "Wir Liebe Dich" (We Love You), is scrawled in a large heart, looking too conveniently spontaneous.

An accompanying interpretive sign reads, in part: "The World must not forget that it was America's resolve and its political and economic ideals that made this bloodless revolution and most significant historical event possible."

Berlin Wall Slabs

Address:
585 Franklin St., Mountain View, CA
Directions:
In front of the city library. Downtown, on the east side of Franklin St., just south of its intersection with Mercy S
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