Seeing Set Pieces from ‘Mister Rogers’ Brought Back My Childhood
While I was in Pittsburgh last month, we made a stop at the Heinz History Center and saw actual props and set pieces from "Mister Rogers Neighborhood."
The exhibit in Fred Rogers home town of Pittsburgh where "Mister Rogers Neighborhood "was produced, brought back so many memories for me. Being able to see pieces of the set that I had seen so many times with my "television neighbor" brought a big smile to my face.
The first display you see as you walk into the exhibit is the area where Mister Rogers would come through the door and start singing "It's A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood." The bench he sat on is here as well as the door, stairs, trolley art on the wall and Picture Picture which was just a picture frame with a slide projector behind it. It's been upgraded for this exhibit with a TV screen showing Mister Rogers' very first show and his last show. There's a figure of Mister Rogers sitting on the bench.
There are also to big set pieces from the Neighborhood of Make-Believe and these are what really brought a smile to my face when I saw them. The Neighborhood of Make-Believe segment is what I loved the most as a kid, and there I was now as a man in his 40's looking at X The Owl's Tree.
When you see it up close, you see how simple this set piece was. It's just plywood, fabric and plaster with a place for Fred Rogers, who performed all the puppets, to stand inside it. Here's one view from the back you never saw on TV.
The back of Henrietta Pussycat's house actually had windows put on it even though it was never seen.
Then on the other side of the room was King Friday's Castle.
It was WAY smaller than it looked on TV. It didn't have the trolley track running in front of it or the set pieces on the side for the trolley tunnels, so that might have something to do with it.
It also is very simple in it's construction, but it was so amazing to see this in person.
Here are two more pictures I took from the exhibit. How many of these things do you remember?
If you're ever in Pittsburgh, I highly recommend a visit to the Heinz History Center to see this in person.