Pittsburghers have the distinct pleasure of saying they live in Mister Rogers’ neighborhood. But few can say they live in his house.
The 3,693-square-foot home where Fred Rogers and his wife, Joanne Rogers, lived in the 1960s is for sale through Coldwell Banker. The home at 5381 Northumberland St. in Squirrel Hill was listed on Zillow last Thursday for $850,000.
The five-bedroom, four-bathroom home was built in 1921. It boasts two fireplaces, two sets of French doors and a stunning library off the dining room.
In the listing, Coldwell Banker Real Estate Agent Linda Corcoran included a birth announcement of the couple’s youngest son, John, from a 1961 alumni publication (Fred and Joanne met while attending Rollins College in Florida), which lists the house as the family’s address.
Seller Allison Shin, who has lived in the home for about 10 years, told Corcoran that she had heard Fred Rogers had once owned the house but never had much proof.
She did spot a photo in a magazine once of Fred Rogers standing in front of a house that looked remarkably similar to hers.
One neighbor told Shin that when a biographer was in town reporting on Rogers’ life, someone told the writer that Mr. Rogers called the Northumberland structure “his favorite house.” Former neighborhood residents also recounted to Shin how Mr. Rogers would put on puppet shows for local children when he lived on Northumberland.
“That was always his passion,” Corcoran said. “He was no different off set as he was on set.”
In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Mr. Rogers was working as a composer, organist and puppeteer on “The Children’s Corner” at WQED, which introduced viewers to Daniel Striped Tiger, Henrietta Pussycat, X the Owl and King Friday XIII.
It was also during this time Mr. Rogers earned his degree from the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary; he was ordained as a Presbyterian minister in 1963.
For a few years around that time, Mr. Rogers hosted his own show, “Misterogers,” in Canada. The family moved in 1966 to a brick home at 1300 Beechwood Blvd.
After their sons John and James were grown, the couple sold that home and moved to an Ellsworth Avenue apartment near the WQED studios in the 1980s.
Fred Rogers died in 2003, and Joanne Rogers passed away in January.
Interested in more sites related to Fred Rogers? Check out Visit PA’s Fred Rogers Trail. Stops in Latrobe range from his alma mater to his grave; stops in Pittsburgh include the Heinz History Center — which contains the largest collection of original items from the “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” television set — and the 10-foot “Tribute to Children” statue on the North Shore.