9 Things You May Not Know About the Mister Rogers Statue
Following the 2003 death of beloved television icon Fred Rogers, Cordelia May — philanthropist and heiress to the Mellon fortune — commissioned a statue of her longtime friend to be built through her Colcom Foundation.
photo by dave dicello
Completed in 2009, the bronze sculpture that sits along the North Shore makes Mister Rogers a permanent fixture in the neighborhood.
‘Tribute to Children’
Known by most as just the “Mister Rogers statue,” the attraction’s official name is “Tribute to Children,” to emphasize Rogers’ impact on the city’s youth.
The famed artist was known for bronze sculptures and monuments, which can be found throughout the United States. “Tribute to Children” was the last piece he created before his death.
Total cost to build the piece. The Colcom Foundation continues to pay for the statue’s maintenance.
Total height of Mister Rogers’ immortalized figure. Berks wanted to convey the “overwhelming awe” children felt while watching Mister Rogers.
Equating to 3.5 tons, “Tribute to Children” is plenty sturdy enough to support anyone who chooses to sit on Mister Rogers’ lap.
“Tribute to Children” was built on a pier abandoned after the demolition of the Manchester Bridge. Architect Lou Astorino came up with the idea for the location, to honor Rogers’ love of swimming.
In November 2015, a sound system was added to the site. Visitors can now listen to 29 musical compositions by Fred Rogers.
A Smile’s the Style
While the statue was in the process of being built, Rogers’ widow Joanne adjusted a tooth to make it look more like her husband.
In 2011, artist Alicia Kachmar crocheted a giant red sweater for the sculpture to celebrate Rogers’ iconic wardrobe.