Tribute to Children

In 2009, the Colcom Foundation commissioned a plaza centered around a statue of Fred Rogers– looking across the rivers’ confluence to the city he loved – as an enduring monument to a life dedicated to the well-being of children. But eight years later, the elements had taken a heavy toll on the Tribute to Children monument and Carl Walker Construction was asked to restore the landmark’s integrity and beauty.

Carl Walker RestorationAmong the many issues that needed to be addressed, the failure of the original drainage system was a priority as it created a public safety hazard. In warm weather, rainwater would pool into puddles; in winter, the water would freeze. The winter ice required treatment with corrosive salt, which caused accelerated deterioration of the concrete deck. Rainwater pooled in well lights at ground level, and the painted railing was chipped and flaking.

Restoring a Beloved Landmark

Our charge in restoring Tribute to Children was to preserve the monument, to make it safer for visitors, and at the same time provide a significant aesthetic upgrade.

Carl Walker RestorationThe first challenge was to safely move the irreplaceable 7,000-pound statue into temporary storage. Once this was completed, the work to repair Mister Rogers’ neighborhood began. We removed all topping and structural slabs and installed a better-engineered drainage system to direct water away from the statue. We spread hot-applied waterproofing to protect the underlying structural concrete, poured a new set of decorative colored-concrete stairs, and put a fresh topping slab in place. The pocked painted rails were replaced with custom-fabricated stainless-steel railings that would require no maintenance. New custom stair rails were also installed which feature LED undermount lighting, hidden so it shed light on the stairs with no distracting glare around the monument. Finally, we integrated spotlights into the rail system; highlighting the statue of a man Pittsburgh will never forget.

Project Highlights
Industry – Landmark PreservationLocation – Pittsburgh, PADetails:
– Landmark restoration with lasting solutions
– Architectural touches to focus attention on the iconic statue
– Undermount lighting to reduce glare
– Hot-applied waterproofing to preserve the wooden deck
– Improved visitor safetyPROJECT SHEET