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

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.
Review: Café Zinho

Review: Café Zinho

Seasoned chef and entrepreneur Toni Pais continues to impress folks who dine at his longstanding Mediterranean establishment, Café Zinho.
City Guide: 200+ Fun Things to Do (No Matter Where You Are)

City Guide: 200+ Fun Things to Do (No Matter Where You Are)

We explore every inch of Allegheny County (and beyond) for a look at the communities where we live, work and play.

The 412

Girl Talk Represents Pittsburgh in Esquire's 'Style Across America' Feature

Girl Talk Represents Pittsburgh in Esquire's 'Style Across America' Feature

On the publication's 10-day, 17-city tour of the States, it chose DJ Gregg Gillis as an example of someone redefining men's style.
5 Pittsburgh Bands You Need to Know

5 Pittsburgh Bands You Need to Know

Fancy yourself a music snob? Brush up with our list of local musicians who might be flying under the radar.
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Pittsburgh's Polo Scene

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Pittsburgh's Polo Scene

(Yes, there's a polo scene.)
A Pitt Computer Team Just Proved a 400-Year-Old Theory

A Pitt Computer Team Just Proved a 400-Year-Old Theory

Hundreds of years after Johannes Kepler presented a theory on how to best stack spherical objects, Pitt reps confirm that the German mathematician was correct.

Hot Reads

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.
Review: Café Zinho

Review: Café Zinho

Seasoned chef and entrepreneur Toni Pais continues to impress folks who dine at his longstanding Mediterranean establishment, Café Zinho.
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.
City Guide: 200+ Fun Things to Do (No Matter Where You Are)

City Guide: 200+ Fun Things to Do (No Matter Where You Are)

We explore every inch of Allegheny County (and beyond) for a look at the communities where we live, work and play.
6 More Things You Might Not Know About Pittsburgh

6 More Things You Might Not Know About Pittsburgh

PittGirl's at it again — this time with a list of a half-dozen fun facts you'll want to mention at your next cocktail party.
'Which Neighborhood Should I Live In?'

'Which Neighborhood Should I Live In?'

We pick the perfect neighborhood for six breeds of ’Burgher.