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Film Man on Wire Performing Arts Photography Street Performing Video WTC

Philippe Petit – WTC highwire walk – 46th Anniversary

Philippe Petit – WTC highwire walk – 46th Anniversary – August 7th, 1974

On one of our visits to the top, it was so windy I couldn’t believe Philippe wanted to go up there. We climbed the 110 flights and when we arrived on the top floor (below the roof) the wind was so strong that debris was flying all over and coming into the entrance we needed to use for access to the roof. We finally climbed the wooden ladder that led us to the roof (still unfinished concrete) and Philippe walked cautiously across to the other side of the roof. I remained near the entrance with camera in hand. A huge wind came and blew Philippe off his feet but he was able to hold onto one of the concrete columns and prevent from being blown away like a leaf in the wind. I was petrified! I had never seen Philippe walk on a wire before I agreed to help him with this crazy caper. The rest is history and with the help of Jean Louis Blondeau (pulling an attaching the cable from one tower to the other successfully!), Philippe was able to fulfill his dream of walking on a wire (1″ thick) between the North and South towers of the not yet completed World Trade Center.

One of the scariest and mind-boggling things we did was to rent a helicopter service to fly over the top of the towers. I hung out the side window and took this photograph. We flew up the Hudson River and had spectacular views of the city and the towers. These photographs were used by Philippe later to plan the actual ‘day of’ strategy.

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Photography Variety Arts

Looking down from 1350 feet – WTC

When I was photographing the top of the WTC for Philippe Petit in preparation for the upcoming ‘artistic crime of the century‘ I also wanted to take some photographs that weren’t needed by him in his preparation. I decided to lean over the edge of the tower and look down. This was a very decisive moment to make me realize I wasn’t afraid of heights. I knew before I did this that I did not have this fear but when I looked over the edge and didn’t flinch I was convinced.

Looking Over The Edge of the Tower © 2008 Jim Moore

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Performing Arts Photography Variety Arts Video

A Tribute to the World Trade Center — Pre 9/11 Remembrances

I like to think about the World Trade Center pre 9/11.

I always liked the design and look of the towers unlike many other NY’ers.

Photograph I took from a helicopter during the construction of the buildings. (Circa June 1974)

Another view of the still unfinished WTC towers from the helicopter.

Having been part of the Philippe Petit WTC exploratory team I visited the North and South towers many times thru the back stairwell.

Climbing 110 flights and then documenting the roof of the two towers for possible ‘rigging’ connections for Philippe’s clandestine walk.

One one of the first trips we did to the towers I took many photographs of Philippe.

Philippe Petit sitting under one of the ibeams on the North Tower of the WTC.

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9/11

I can’t forget the day 9/11 happened. I was working on the West Side Highway about 15 blocks north of the tower.

I ran out of my work place to see the second plane hit the tower and watched both of them collapse. It was a very insane moment.

Hundreds, if not thousands of people were rushing up the Westside Highway trying to escape the turmoil and chaos of the event.

Having walked up the back stairwell of both towers on numerous trips I couldn’t comprehend the disaster in front of my eyes at that moment.

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But back to 1974.

Philippe would fly into New York for planning his proposed walk and we would meet up and plan a visit to the towers.

One of of these many trips we made to the top of the buildings  Philippe stopped on one of the floors and marked on the still unpainted sheet rock a drawing of his ‘high-wire’ walks that he had done and of course the one he was about to do!

Philippe Petit with his drawing on the wall of Syndney Harbor Bridge, Notre Dame and WTC.

This and other photographs that I took of Philippe before he walked on the wire were used in the Oscar winning Doc MAN ON WIRE.

Here is a seldom seen newscast from that special day in August 1974.

 

 

For more photographs from the film and others taken during that period check out my website here

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Here is a photograph taken of me doing a handstand on the edge of the North Tower with uptown Manhattan in the background.

Photograph by Philippe Petit of Jim Moore doing handstand on edge of North Tower.

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For more of the story about Philippe Petit’s highwire adventure you can read his book “To Reach The Clouds’ which was later republished as

MAN ON WIRE

One of his other books which is a wonderful treatise on Highwire is “On the Highwire“. A collector’s item nowaday.

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Performing Arts Photography Variety Arts

Handstand on the World Trade Center

While I was doing some research photography on top of the South tower of the World Trade Center (for his upcoming coup) I got Philippe to hold my camera while I did a handstand on the edge. I wasn’t really afraid of this as I had my handstand down and I am not afraid of heights. It was an amazing moment to be on the NY’s tallest building and be doing a handstand on the edge of the roof. No one was around and it was a serene and tranquil moment. The photographs that I took that day became the documentation that was eventually used in the Oscar winning documentary Man on Wire.

Jim Moore doing handstand on top of the World Trade Center @1974