We have previously reported on the rebuilding of Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks on Victoria Avenue.
For many years, one of the most recognizable city landmarks was the fiberglass figure of tight rope walker Blondin, who was the first funambulist to cross the Niagara Gorge on a tightrope. Blondin had been seen crossing Clifton Hill on his tightrope for more than 40 years when he was taken down when the original location for the Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks closed.
The figure has now be re-erected across Victoria Avenue with a fresh coat of paint and a new cape.
Read the write up from the Niagara Falls Review
Blondin has a new home perched high above Victoria Avenue, near Clifton Hill.
Photo: Mike DiBattista, The Review
Blondin returns to skyline
Wax museum preparing
By ALISON LANGLEY Review Staff Writer
Local News – Thursday, May 12, 2005 @ 02:00
NIAGARA FALLS â€” Blondin is back and heâ€™s better than ever.
After a four-year hiatus, the famed tightrope walker has returned to the heart of the tourist district, this time perched on his tightrope across Victoria Avenue in front of the new location of the Louis Tussaudâ€™s Wax Museum.
Construction is still going on at the new museum. However, Blondin was put back in business Tuesday night.
â€œThis is the first time he has seen daylight,â€ Tim Parker, general manager of Ripleyâ€™s in Niagara Falls, said Wednesday morning.
The fibreglass figure had been a familiar fixture on Clifton Hill for more than 40 years.
The metre-and-a-half tall statue was taken down in the fall of 2000 after the museum closed its doors.
With work on the new facility almost completed, Blondin was taken out of storage and given a complete makeover.
â€œHe looked a little old when we took him down. So, we rejuvenated him with a fresh coat of paint and a new cape,â€ Parker said.
The large swashbuckling cavalier that welcomed visitors to the museum is also returning.
The massive figure is scheduled to be installed at the new site tonight.
The new Tussaudâ€™s museum is set to open in June.
The 125 wax figures, which had been stored at Ripley Entertainment head office in Florida, are back in town awaiting the completion of their new home.
â€œWe wonâ€™t be bringing them in until every last speck of drywall dust is gone,â€ Parker said.
The original Tussaudâ€™s opened on Clifton Hill in 1959.
It was an instant success and was credited with launching a new era in the tourism industry as it spawned a number of themed museums and other family attractions in the area.