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.)
 

Hot Reads

Review: Sienna Mercato

Review: Sienna Mercato

Matthew Porco, one of our Chefs of the Year, designs the menus at Sienna Mercato's downtown establishments.
An Open Letter to Local Sports Reporters

An Open Letter to Local Sports Reporters

PittGirl has had enough of the criticism of fanatics and asks the media to stop labeling everyone.
Film Noir Fall Fashion

Film Noir Fall Fashion

Fall into autumn with a fashion landscape awash in black, white and nifty shades of gray.
8 Foodie Day Trips (and a Few Weekends, Too)

8 Foodie Day Trips (and a Few Weekends, Too)

Hoping to take a leaf-peeping road trip? Keep food at the top of your priority list and consult our lineup of eight destinations, most within 150 miles of the city.

The 412

Awesome Hyperlapse Video Takes You Through Pittsburgh at Warp Speed

Awesome Hyperlapse Video Takes You Through Pittsburgh at Warp Speed

Instagram’s new Hyperlapse technology was made for Pittsburgh.
The 10 Most Important Concerts in Pittsburgh History

The 10 Most Important Concerts in Pittsburgh History

We went one on one with legendary promoter Rich Engler to get the scoop on which shows have stood out over time.
8 Photos That Best Capture Summer in Pittsburgh

8 Photos That Best Capture Summer in Pittsburgh

Just because the season's winding down doesn't mean you have to be glum. Savor these images that capture all that you love about the city.
Pittsburgh: America's Most Livable City ... Again?

Pittsburgh: America's Most Livable City ... Again?

It feels good to be at the very top of The Economist's list of high-ranking metropolises in the continental U.S.

Hot Reads

Review: Sienna Mercato

Review: Sienna Mercato

Matthew Porco, one of our Chefs of the Year, designs the menus at Sienna Mercato's downtown establishments.
Film Noir Fall Fashion

Film Noir Fall Fashion

Fall into autumn with a fashion landscape awash in black, white and nifty shades of gray.
An Open Letter to Local Sports Reporters

An Open Letter to Local Sports Reporters

PittGirl has had enough of the criticism of fanatics and asks the media to stop labeling everyone.
8 Foodie Day Trips (and a Few Weekends, Too)

8 Foodie Day Trips (and a Few Weekends, Too)

Hoping to take a leaf-peeping road trip? Keep food at the top of your priority list and consult our lineup of eight destinations, most within 150 miles of the city.
From Field to Fork

From Field to Fork

We put together this dynamic guide to help you find and engage with the region’s sustainable producers of meat, honey, alcohol, fruits and vegetables.
Sometimes Your Best Friends in Life Aren't on Facebook

Sometimes Your Best Friends in Life Aren't on Facebook

PittGirl wonders if it's still possible to raise kids to be big-hearted people in an age of self-obsession.