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Tribute to Children Opens This Fall

Tribute to Children, a sculpture that celebrates the enduring values of Fred Rogers, will be unveiled this fall on the north shore facing downtown Pittsburgh.

Cordelia May was a longtime friend of Fred and Joanne Rogers. After his death, she wanted to honor Fred — in the city that was his home — and at a location where all could be reminded of his messages and legacy of love. She began to collaborate with Joanne Rogers on the creation of a sculpture that would be entirely funded by her Colcom Foundation.

Tribute to Children was sculpted by Robert Berks, who has created fourteen monumental works and more than three hundred portraits of individuals in public and private life, including most of the world’s leaders of the 20th century.

Berks said of the project: “This sculpture is the summation of how I see Fred Rogers and his perceptive, loving openness to life. It is how I celebrate his particular genius in my own medium. His unique gifts will live on for future generations, and I am rewarded to play a part in that heritage.”

Tribute to Children features a walk-around platform — measuring approximately 96 feet by 59 feet — and will encompass the old Manchester Bridge pier which will be reconstructed into a dramatic portal. The floor design will be patterned after the colorful path in the part of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood known as the ‘Neighborhood of Make-Believe.’

“We are thankful to the local tradesmen, authorities and to our team of architects for their efforts in creating a very special place,” said Bill Isler, President of Family Communications, Inc. “The generosity of Colcom Foundation is making this gift to the region a reality,” added Isler.

At the unveiling, Colcom Foundation will give Tribute to Children to the City of Pittsburgh and will continue to provide funding for the site’s ongoing maintenance.

For more information, visit tributetochildren.org.

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