Thursday, January 20, 2011

Neighborhood of Make Believe Artwork

Some time ago, there was some interest here in the artwork that hangs on either side of Mister Rogers' refrigerator, especially the painting depicting the Neighborhood of Make Believe.

Since the painting is shown in pretty good detail in Episode 2, I thought I'd grab some frames from that and with a little Photoshop magic, assemble them to give us a closer look.

Click for a larger view!
It's not a perfect Photoshop job- some portions of the painting were not shown in a particularly high resolution so I was forced to use a low res frame in the missing areas, mostly around the edges and corners. If I come across anything higher quality or figure out how to merge this with a color version, I'll post an update. In the meantime, enjoy this peek at our favorite Neighborhood!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Early Negri/Costa Performance

Here's a cool video pointed out by Neighbor Aaron. It features a young duo of Joe Negri and Johnny Costa from the mid-1950s as they perform on Ken Griffin's 67 Melody Lane.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Model House

Have you ever looked at the Neighborhood model? I mean really looked at it. Not just a quick glance as an episode of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood begins but have you taken the time to really recognize the effort and detail that was poured into this miniature set? Until recently, I hadn't either.

Having seen this model Neighborhood on television hundreds (if not thousands) of times over the past 30+ years, it wasn't until just a few months ago that I really started to take notice of every possible detail. The more I paid attention, the more fascinated I became. I even started to pick up on minor variations such as the color of the upper windows on Mister Rogers' house.

 
Ironically, around this same time, I received an email from a Neighborhood Archive reader who shared with me that most of these building are nothing more than modifications made from various structures one might use for a model train set. He shared several links showing the exact products used in making these models for Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. One link was to the cape cod style house which is part of the Plasticville USA line of models.

 
Could it be? Was this really Mister Rogers' house? You bet it was. Of course it was a different color and the porch was on the opposite side. But with a few minor modifications, this was the house that had welcomed me time and time again to Mister Rogers' Neighborhood.

Now for some people reading this, I'm sure this is nothing new to you. But I had never considered where these miniature buildings had come from. While I supposed I didn't think that each one was made from scratch by the MRN set designers, I certainly had never considered that anyone could go out and buy their own Mister Rogers house.

So as wide-eyed as I'd been in a while, what did I do?

I went out and bought my own Mister Rogers house.

After a few sloppy coats of paint and a minor modification to the porch, here you have it...Mister Rogers' house now sits on my shelf. It's not an exact replica, but it's pretty darn close. Although I will say that the house appears much more yellow in this picture than it actually is.

Now I know what you're thinking and the answer is no. I do not plan to continue buying these kits to recreate the entire Neighborhood model.

My wife won't let me.