Man on Wire aerialist Philippe Petit plans Grand Central Station traverse at 62

Added by on April 2, 2012

Philippe Petit – the French aerialist who once traversed a tightrope between New York’s Twin Towers – is preparing a high wire walk above the city’s Grand Central Station at the age of 62.

The feat, to be performed to mark the terminal’s 100 anniversary next February, would be a repeat of a his death-defying act 25 years ago, when thousands of hushed commuters in the station’s marble hall watched him cross 80 feet above their heads.

Petit’s illegal 1974 high wire act at the World’s Trade Center was immortalized in the 2008 documentary, ‘Man on Wire’.

His 1987 Grand Central crossing was carried out with the blessing of station authorities, who identified a 12 minute window when no trains were due to arrive or depart to allow him to cross the 150 feet wire safely.

Last year, transport chief Peter Stangl held the door open to a repeat performance at a press conference announcing the festivities for the station’s centenary.

Stangl said, “If anybody knows where he is and…is still doing it, we’d love to have him back. I personally would like to see him perform again.”

Petit was tracked down to his home in upstate New York, where he syas he still practices walking a tightrope for three hours a day.

“It’s a dream for me to put my high wire there again,” said Petit. “It’s a space that calls for a high wire. I remember vividly as if it was yesterday.”

Petit, on his high wire, has also crossed Paris’s Notre Dame and the Sydney Harbor Bridge.