It may be an exaggeration to say everyone in Pittsburgh has a Mister Rogers story, but even if you don’t know it, you’re probably just one degree of separation from someone who does.
In the thirty-two years Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was in production (1968-2000), there were umpteen hundred (thousand?) puppeteers, production assistants, on-screen guests, and live studio audience members in WQED’s Oakland facility. Add to that the personal appearances, meet-and-greets, school visits, outreach, and set tours, and you’ve got a very large number of people with some sense of personal connection to Fred Rogers and/or his very special television creation. Mr. McFeely (David Newell) is still out there, getting it done on the regs. If you haven’t gotten a speedy delivery from the world’s most famous letter carrier, that’s on you.
In honor of Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, the new feature-length documentary film on Rogers released this week, we thought we’d dig further into that most Pittsburgh of things–its neighborhoodliness.
Not every one of the city’s ninety defined neighborhoods has a welcome sign, but an amazingly large number of them do–plenty with more than one–and the variety is terrific. There are so many signs, in fact, that there’s just no way to fit them all into one post. So, Orbit readers from Brookline, Spring Hill, etc., we haven’t forgotten about you and we’ll try get to as many as we can next time. [Please let us know if there’s one we might miss!]
So, just like the world’s most famous cardigan and Keds, let’s get on with it. Here’s our survey of city neighborhood welcome signs and here-you-are murals.