The Green Knight Rises

Uptown’s newest resident stands 12 feet tall and weighs three tons, so don’t make him mad.



The statue is about 12 feet tall — closer to 14 at the tip of the sword — and it weighs about three tons. Made of cast iron, it has developed a nice pale green patina over the years. It was installed last October in an empty lot at the corner of Tustin and Seneca streets in the part of Uptown that’s sometimes called “Soho.”

Slightly kooky Sam Kiss, who retired after serving as Allegheny County’s Chief Architect, has been living in this neighborhood since 1979. Last year, Kiss saw this warrior in the lot of an antiques store in Duncansville, Pa., and fell in love at first sight.

“It reminded me of Europe,” says Kiss, a Belgian by birth. “My girlfriend was looking at something 18 inches high, and I was struck by something 14 feet high!” He took advantage of the shop’s layaway plan and eventually had the artwork trucked here on a flatbed. “I could’ve gone to Europe for the amount I spent on it.” I learned a lot from Kiss:

  He’s dubbed the statue “Sir Samelot” and thinks of it not only as a neighborhood guardian, but also as a menacing reminder to folks downtown on Grant Street to be careful with their politics.

  Neither Kiss nor the man at the antiques store can offer any guess as to the statue’s provenance. Where did it come from? Why was it created? Does it matter?

  Kiss thinks that the markings on the knight’s shield might be able to tell us something. Who knows heraldry these days? “I think of him as a Hun,” he says.  

  In his first few months as a Pittsburgher, Sir Samelot has been decorated several times: with pumpkins and a Scream mask for Halloween; with a Steelers shield; with an extended sword lancing three turkeys for Thanksgiving; and with a Santa hat and sleigh for Christmas.  

  Depending on the size of your vehicle, you can see some of Sir Samelot from the Boulevard of the Allies, if you know where to look. (It’s easiest from the outbound side.)
 

Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Review: Salt of the Earth

Review: Salt of the Earth

Brandon Fisher is the latest chef behind Salt of the Earth’s modern-American dishes.
2014 Pittsburgher of the Year Award: The Fred Rogers Company

2014 Pittsburgher of the Year Award: The Fred Rogers Company

Sharing the DNA of the father of children’s television, the Fred Rogers Company reinvigorates a beloved legacy while creating new hit characters and content that help children to grow, giggle and learn.
Update: The McMutrie Sisters' Mission 5 Years After the Haiti Earthquake

Update: The McMutrie Sisters' Mission 5 Years After the Haiti Earthquake

Jamie and Ali McMutrie were PM's 2010 Pittsburghers of the Year after airlifting 54 youngsters to safety. Now, they have forged a relationship with a major global player to continue their work to prevent struggling Haitian families from surrendering children to orphanages.
PittGirl's New Year's Resolutions for Pittsburghers

PittGirl's New Year's Resolutions for Pittsburghers

Four ways to make the city even better in 2015.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

The 412

Destined to be a Classic: Pittsburgh Penguins 'Christmas Vacation' Parody Video

Destined to be a Classic: Pittsburgh Penguins 'Christmas Vacation' Parody Video

Evegeni Malkin is priceless at the end.
This Weekend: Chris Jamison & the Steelers, Pens & Ugly Sweaters, Mayor Undercover

This Weekend: Chris Jamison & the Steelers, Pens & Ugly Sweaters, Mayor Undercover

Some cool things to watch out for this weekend in the ’Burgh.
#Oops — Or, About that Headline . . .

#Oops — Or, About that Headline . . .

Once in a while, no good deed goes unpunished.
Now Online: Two New Cameras to Keep an Eye on Pittsburgh’s Bald Eagles

Now Online: Two New Cameras to Keep an Eye on Pittsburgh’s Bald Eagles

A Murrysville security company has installed the new cameras, which provide sharper images of the Hays eagles.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hot Reads

Review: Salt of the Earth

Review: Salt of the Earth

Brandon Fisher is the latest chef behind Salt of the Earth’s modern-American dishes.
2014 Pittsburgher of the Year Award: The Fred Rogers Company

2014 Pittsburgher of the Year Award: The Fred Rogers Company

Sharing the DNA of the father of children’s television, the Fred Rogers Company reinvigorates a beloved legacy while creating new hit characters and content that help children to grow, giggle and learn.
Update: The McMutrie Sisters' Mission 5 Years After the Haiti Earthquake

Update: The McMutrie Sisters' Mission 5 Years After the Haiti Earthquake

Jamie and Ali McMutrie were PM's 2010 Pittsburghers of the Year after airlifting 54 youngsters to safety. Now, they have forged a relationship with a major global player to continue their work to prevent struggling Haitian families from surrendering children to orphanages.
PittGirl's New Year's Resolutions for Pittsburghers

PittGirl's New Year's Resolutions for Pittsburghers

Four ways to make the city even better in 2015.
Penguins Profile: The Fearless Patric Hornqvist

Penguins Profile: The Fearless Patric Hornqvist

The Penguin winger fits in easily with the team, thanks to his infectious personality and his mad dedication to confounding opposing goaltenders.
Rev It Up: This South Side Pittsburgh Loft is Unique and Unusual

Rev It Up: This South Side Pittsburgh Loft is Unique and Unusual

This three-story home melds all of the comforts of home with the sleek look and efficiency of industrial design.
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module

Edit ModuleShow Tags