Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

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 TagsEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The Latest

Come and Explore Wilkinsburg’s Divine History

The Sacred Spaces Tour takes visitors to the borough’s churches, mosques and historic buildings.

Waste Not: Kelly Lane's Fashion Designs are Eco-Chic

After noting how much fabric ends up in landfills, Pittsburgh designer Kelly Simpson-Scupelli found a way to incorporate the unused scraps into her fashion line.

Three Rivers Champion: Sloane Davidson

Davidson started an organization that gives refugee and immigrant families aid based on real, person-to-person relationships, not transactions.

The 400-Word Review: Alpha

The prehistoric drama is here to answer a question no one asked about the world's first-ever dog.

“Night of the Living Dead” to Appear on the Big Screen Again

The cult classic will be screened at the Byham Theater in honor of the 50th anniversary of its debut.

The 400-Word Review: Crazy Rich Asians

The light romcom is made for pleasing audiences — and in that respect, it succeeds.

Enix Brewing Company Set to Open in Homestead

Owners David and Victor Rodriguez also operate two breweries in Madrid, Spain.

Revisiting Fat Head's

The South Side stalwart punches above its weight thanks to good beer and gigantic sandwiches.

In Ben They Trust

Going into his 15th professional season, Steelers' quarterback Ben Roethlisberger remains the key to a successful season.

PM on KD: The Fall Weddings Issue

PM Associate Editor Lauren Davidson appears on KDKA's Pittsburgh Today Live to talk about the fall Weddings issue.

The Airbnb of Camping Has Started Pitching Tents in Pennsylvania

The startup Tentrr connects landowners looking for extra cash with interested campers.

Painting Made Simple: Paintzen Launches in Pittsburgh

Partnering with PPG Paints, the company uses an online platform to match customers with professional painters and provide supplies.

New TV Series Shot in Pittsburgh Area Premiering This Month

See if you recognize any of the locations in the thriller “One Dollar.”

Bocce, Pasta, Music and More Highlight Little Italy Days

Experience Italian culture and cuisine during Bloomfield’s annual Little Italy Days.

Vintage Details Give Weddings Classic Feel

Combining the old and the new, these couples used their vintage details to create a modern-yet-elegant wedding day.