Beautiful New York

A Celebration of the City

Top 10 Greatest Historic NYC Photographs — #5

The Return by Jean Louis Blondeau

05 Philippe Petit

In August, 1974, French acrobat, Philippe Petit, performed his daring highwire walk between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center. Before then, they had simply been “the biggest aluminum siding job anyone has ever seen” or “the boxes that the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building came in” and nobody liked them. For the first time, these grand (and now tragic) staples of the downtown skyline became romantic. On hand to document the magnificent feat was Petit’s friend, photographer, Jean Louis Blondeau, who snapped this shot as Petit began his final pass along the wire.


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