Visiting The 'Real' Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood

A new display at the Heinz History Center brings the iconic TV set to life.




Photos by Rachel lynn Schoen

 

Those seeking to make a Mister Rogers’ pilgrimage have some choices. You could visit the beautiful statue of Fred on the North Shore. You could seek out the WQED building in Oakland. You could check out the full-size replica of the Neighborhood Trolley in the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.

But, starting today, those who want an authentic (and moving) trip to Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood should head for the Sen. John Heinz History Center.

Enter the Special Collections Gallery — already an amazing spot, home to thousands of pieces of local history ranging from old pub signs to Teenie Harris’ camera — and you’ll find a new display greeting you. A lifelike figure of Mister Rogers smiles out from the iconic entryway and living room set where he began each episode of “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.”
 


 

But this is no recreation; this is the actual, authentic “Mister Rogers’” set, on display as part of a permanent collection for the first time.

With some pieces dating back to the 1950s, the display is the result of a careful and painstaking collaboration between the Fred Rogers Company and the History Center; the fragile pieces, also including King Friday XIII’s Castle and the Great Oak Tree, were restored by the History Center for this exhibit.
 


 

About 100 items from “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” are on display, ranging from the tiny (Henrietta Pussycat’s outfit) to grown-up sized (Mr. McFeely’s tricycle). Andy Masich, the History Center’s president and CEO, says an earlier exhibit on the year 1968 inspired the permanent exhibit; ’68 was the year “Mister Rogers’” debuted on PBS precursor NET. Some of the items on display now were included in the 1968 exhibit.

“So many people got teary when they got up close and personal with those sets,” Masich says.

You can visit Fred’s house anytime, but Friday may provide the best opportunity. Eliot Daley, former CEO of Family Communications, Inc. — the production company behind “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” — and Pittsburgh Foundation president and CEO Maxwell King will host “The Life & Legend of Mister Rogers, the Early Years,” a one-hour discussion about Fred’s path to the neighborhood. The talk, scheduled for 4 p.m. Friday, is free with museum admission — and all neighbors will be invited upstairs to see the new exhibit following the program.
 

 

 

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module

Edit Module Edit ModuleShow Tags

More From The 412

Oakland Catholic Grad Earns Gold in Rio

Oakland Catholic Grad Earns Gold in Rio

Swimmer Leah Smith won her second medal at the summer games Wednesday night.
Pittsburgh’s Downtown Ranked on Most Livable List

Pittsburgh’s Downtown Ranked on Most Livable List

If it’s a ranking dealing with livability, you can bet Pittsburgh will be on the list.
Smoke BBQ Taqueria Branching Out with Burgers

Smoke BBQ Taqueria Branching Out with Burgers

This new addition to the menu will only be available one day a week.
Thanksgiving Backlash? Is Black Friday on Friday Again?

Thanksgiving Backlash? Is Black Friday on Friday Again?

A growing number of retailers are stepping away from Thanksgiving hours but the decision may not have anything to do with holiday goodwill.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

19 Pittsburgh-Area Burgers That We Love

19 Pittsburgh-Area Burgers That We Love

PM dining critic Hal B. Klein spent months eating scores of hamburgers in and around Pittsburgh. Find out how he narrowed his list down to 19 — and see which ones made the cut.
Meet 3 Butchers of the 'Burgh and Pittsburgh's ‘Brisket Boss’

Meet 3 Butchers of the 'Burgh and Pittsburgh's ‘Brisket Boss’

We visit Salem's halal butcher shop, the butchery program at Whitfield restaurant and the Butcher on Butler. Plus, smoking tips from the Brisket Boss.
The Region's Top Dentists 2017

The Region's Top Dentists 2017

Our annual list, which contains 369 dentists in the region, as determined by topDENTISTS.
Showtime Brothers: A Tale of Two Hollanders

Showtime Brothers: A Tale of Two Hollanders

In the 13 years since CBS’ ‘The Guardian’ went off the air, the Mt. Lebanon-raised siblings who inspired and wrote the series, Scott and David Hollander, have continued to export Pittsburgh nationally.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

On the Blogs


Meet Rescued Animals at Carnegie Museum of Natural History

Meet Rescued Animals at Carnegie Museum of Natural History

The new Live Animal Encounters program introduces museum visitors to rescued wildlife.

Comments


All the foodie news that's fit to blog
Feast Series Returns to Carnegie Museum of Art in Oakland This September

Feast Series Returns to Carnegie Museum of Art in Oakland This September

The third iteration of the series will feature chef J.J. Johnson, formerly of The Cecil and Minton's Supper Club in Harlem.

Comments


Not just good stuff. Great stuff.
Best Places for Kids on Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

Best Places for Kids on Rainy Days in Pittsburgh

Read on for some under-the-radar ideas on how you and the kids can survive a rainy day this summer.

Comments


Tres Rios Has Potential, But Hasn't Distinguished Itself Just Yet

Tres Rios Has Potential, But Hasn't Distinguished Itself Just Yet

The tacos-and-tequila bar and restaurant on the South Side doesn't do anything wrong, exactly, but has room to grow.

Comments


Mike Prisuta's Sports Section

A weekly look at the games people are playing and the people who are playing them.
Who Belongs on a Pittsburgh Steelers Mount Rushmore?

Who Belongs on a Pittsburgh Steelers Mount Rushmore?

As the team prepares the inaugural class of its Hall of Honor, Mike Prisuta selects the four members of the Steelers family most deserving of inclusion.

Comments


Style. Design. Goods. Hide your credit card.
Make a Trendy Transition into Fall Style

Make a Trendy Transition into Fall Style

No. 14 Boutique in Lawrenceville put together this chic outfit for the tricky period when summer cools into autumn.

Comments


The movies that are playing in Pittsburgh –– and, more importantly, whether or not they're worth your time.
A Hitman and His Bodyguard Get Into Trouble (No Need to Overcomplicate Things)

A Hitman and His Bodyguard Get Into Trouble (No Need to Overcomplicate Things)

Reviews of "The Hitman's Bodyguard" and "Wind River," plus local movie news and notes.

Comments


Everything you need to know about getting married in Pittsburgh today.
Delicious Design: Our Cookie Table Contest Winner & Runners-Up

Delicious Design: Our Cookie Table Contest Winner & Runners-Up

These Pittsburgh couples certainly know how to bring the cookie table tradition to life.

Comments


Weekly inspiration for your home from the editors of Pittsburgh Magazine
Produced in Pittsburgh: MONMade Takes Local Crafters National

Produced in Pittsburgh: MONMade Takes Local Crafters National

Close to a half dozen local businesses, among them Savannah Hayes and Stak Ceramics, will make their debut next week at the mega interior design and home goods-focused show in New York City.

Comments


The hottest topics in higher education
Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

Tuition Increases at the University of Pittsburgh

School trustees voted this week to increase tuition for in-state and out-of-state students.

Comments