Mister Rogers entered our homes with his gentle, soft-spoken personality and his positive and affirming messages - and he won our hearts.
Most people in America love Mr. Rogers, but as per usual, Pittsburghers do it bigger and better. Why do we have such a strong affinity for Fred Rogers? It begins at home - he was born and raised in Latrobe, Pennsylvania only about 40 miles from Pittsburgh! Because of that, there are lots of places around Pittsburgh for you to get your Mr. Rogers fix! In fact, visitors from all over the country can now follow a three-day, self-guided Fred Rogers Trail along 15 key sites in his life that spans across Western Pennsylvania.
Visit the Fred Rogers & Us Exhibit where you can see the original puppets from the show including King Friday XIII, Queen Sarah Saturday, and Henrietta Pussycat. View Fred's original and iconic sweater and blue canvas sneakers, and play in the castle from the Neighborhood of Make Believe. Make sure to bring a change of clothes so that the kids in your life have a chance to experience Waterplay, a space that lets them get up close and personal with H20.
What if you're not a child but young at heart and want to reminisce? The Heinz History Center has you covered. They are featuring a “Mister Rogers' Neighborhood” exhibit in their special collections gallery with the largest collection of original items from the Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood television set on public view - including the life-like figure of Mr. Rogers wearing his iconic sweater, necktie, khakis, and sneakers. Highlights from the "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" installation include:
There are two wonderful and unique places where locals and tourists alike can pay homage to Mister Rogers. Make sure to check out "Tribute to Children", the ten foot bronze sculpture of Fred at North Shore Drive (located between Heinz Field and PNC Park). This statue captures him in a familiar pose, sitting down and tying his sneakers with a gorgeous view of Pittsburgh in the foreground.
Although most of us have never met Mister Rogers, he has certinally left something of himself with us. As he himself once said:
If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.
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Molly Allwein loves traveling the world, her three rescue dogs, and indulging in brunch & happy hour. Her favorite things about living in Pittsburgh are the $10 opera tickets, the robust community and philanthropic organizations, and the amazing culinary scene.