Plans seek beautiful site for Mr. Rogers

May 24, 2007 at 4:32 PM

PITTSBURGH, May 24 (UPI) -- A child-friendly statue of one of children's most beloved neighbors, Mr. Rogers, is in the planning stages for a Pittsburgh neighborhood.

Plans call for a Tribute to Children area, called a parklet, to be built around a 10-foot tall statue of Fred Rogers and to incorporate the Manchester Bridge Pier near Heinz Field into its design, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported Thursday.

The $3 million sculpture of the children's television legend would be on an observation deck bored into the old bridge pier on the Pittsburgh's North Shore. The sculpture shows Rogers tying his shoes, as he did at the opening and close of "Mister Rogers' Neighborhood."

Besides providing photo ops for children of all ages, officials said they hope the privately funded parklet will become a major sight-seeing destination.

Officials said the statue's site is scheduled to be completed by March 20, 2008, which would have been Rogers' 80th birthday and coincide with Pittsburgh's 250th anniversary.

Born in Latrobe, Pa., Rogers wrote and starred in "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" for 33 years, winning numerous awards. He died in 2003 at age 74.

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