The board that oversees Pittsburgh’s sports stadiums and convention center has given its approval for construction of a statue honoring the late Fred Rogers.
Members of the Pittsburgh-Allegheny County Sports & Exhibition Authority yesterday approved a maintenance agreement with the production company Rogers founded, Family Communications, and with the Colcom Foundation, reports the Post-Gazette.
To be located on the North Shore near PNC Park and Heinz Field, the sculpture is valued at $1.3 million, while development of nearby land will cost $1.7 million. Funds are being provided by Colcom, a charity created by the late Cordelia Scaife May, a descendant of the Mellon and Scaife fortunes and a friend of Rogers.
Preliminary plans call for the statue to be placed in a parklet carved from the old Manchester Bridge pier. Construction should start later this year.
Rogers, born in Latrobe in 1928, died in 2003. He created and starred in “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood,” which was produced and filmed at WQED-TV (13), for more than 30 years.
The statue honoring the childrens’ TV pioneer will be one of the last monuments placed in the North Shore Riverfront Park; the authority says any additional memorials or statues will interfere with the park’s design. (A World War II memorial has already been approved.)
(A tip of the PBRTV propeller-beanie to DCRTV.)