For the station's 75th anniversary in 1987, Petit, with the permission of officials, completed a tightrope walk 80 feet above Grand Central Terminal’s marble floor, without safety netting. The daredevil had to wait for a 12-minute lull inbetween trains so that vibrations wouldn't shake him from his perilous perch, on a 150-foot long wire connecting the north and south windows. No one was allowed to stand beneath the high-wire in case Petite slipped and fell.
When the MTA announced its centennial plans this March, former MTA chief Peter Stangl, a member of the planning committee, joked, “If anyone knows where [Petit] is today, we'll invite him back.”
The New York Post took the joke seriously and found Petit in his upstate New York home, where the 62-year-old still practices tightrope walking three hours a day.
“It’s a dream for me to put my high wire there again,” Petit told The Post of the idea. “It’s a space that calls for a high wire."
Petit is perhaps best known for his unsanctioned stunts at the Sydney Harbor Bridge and Notre Dame, and most famously, for illegally walking from the roof of one Twin Tower to the next in 1974, a stunt that was the subject of the Oscar-winning 2008 documentary "Man On Wire."
It's yet to be determined if Stangl and the centennial committee will actually invite Petit back for the 2013 event, but this is one crusade of the Post's that we could get behind. If they do, it will be sure to be a Grand spectacle, a fitting encore for the performer's long career.
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