Watts Towers, Los Angeles

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    The Fascinating Watts Towers

    by gilescorey Updated Jul 5, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Watts Surprise

    In 1921, Simon Rodia, an incredibly short Italian immigrant, began construction on his "towers"., in the tiny farming community of Watts. Thirty-four years later, the nine sculptures adjacent to his tiny farmhouse would rise nearly a hundred feet over his newly suburbanized neighborhood.

    "Watts" is a name more commonly associated with "urban decay" and "riots" than great works of art. But, there are only four sites in LA listed on the National Historic Register - the Rodia towers is one of them. Often considered the "Gaudi" of America, Rodia constructed these whimsical structures with no blueprints and no formal education. They are a beautiful oasis in a neighborhood that has seen better days.

    I'll tell ya - we had a devil of a time finding the towers. Approach from the 105Fwy and carry detailed directions. Rodia's towers don't garner the respect they deserve. Signage is lacking and locals had no idea of exactly where they were located.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

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  • gilescorey's Profile Photo

    More of the Watts Towers

    by gilescorey Updated Jul 6, 2005

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Rodia's yard ornaments

    Pardon my yard sale camera, but here is another, longer shot of the towers. Rodia used improvised mortar and decoration in construction of the tower - soda bottle tops, broken glass, and bathroom tile. So, you see, a Watts Towers picture, from a camera purchased at a yard sale...kinda fitting.

    Related to:
    • Arts and Culture
    • Architecture

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