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Walter De Maria, The Broken Kilometer

393 West Broadway, New York

Five vertical columns of sections of brass rods on a wood floor.

Walter De Maria, The Broken Kilometer, 1979. © The Estate of Walter De Maria. Photo: Jon Abbott



12–3 pm and 3:30–6 pm
Admission is free

The Broken Kilometer (1979), located at 393 West Broadway in New York City, is composed of 500 highly polished, round, solid brass rods, each measuring two meters in length and five centimeters (two inches) in diameter. The 500 rods are placed in five parallel rows of 100 rods each. The sculpture weighs 18 3/4 tons and would measure 3,280 feet if all the elements were laid end-to-end. Each rod is placed such that the spaces between the rods increase by 5mm with each consecutive space, from front to back; the first two rods of each row are placed 80mm apart, the last two rods are placed 580 mm apart. Stadium lights illuminate the work’s full area of 45 by 125 feet.

This work is the companion piece to De Maria's 1977 Vertical Earth Kilometer at Kassel, Germany. In that permanently installed earth sculpture, a brass rod of the same diameter, total weight and total length has been inserted 1,000 meters into the ground.

The Broken Kilometer has been on long-term view to the public since 1979. This work was commissioned and is maintained by Dia Art Foundation.
Admission is free.

The Broken Kilometer is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, December 31, and January 1.

Photography is not permitted.

The Broken Kilometer has additional health and safety protocols in place due to COVID-19. For more information please read our visitor guidelines.

The Broken Kilometer is located on the ground floor and requires walking up three stairs; it is not wheelchair accessible.

An illustrated brochure about the site is available below.

Art: The Broken Kilometer, 1979

The Broken Kilometer is located on the ground floor and requires walking up three stairs; it is not wheelchair accessible.

ADA service dogs are welcome. Pets, including therapy or emotional-support animals, are not permitted in the galleries.


Walter De Maria

Walter De Maria was born in Albany, California, in 1935. He died in Los Angeles in 2013.

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Artists on Walter De Maria

Artists on Walter De Maria is the second installment in a series culled from Dia Art Foundation’s Artists on Artists lectures, focused on the work of artist Walter De Maria. It features contributions from Richard Aldrich, Jeanne Dunning, Guillermo Faivovich and Nicolás Goldberg, and Terry Winters.

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