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WATTS TOWERS OF SIMON RODIA
State Historical Park
Los Angeles, California

Photographed by Gerald Thurman of Tempe, Arizona
Watts Towers

In 1921, Italian immigrant Simon Rodia began creating a sculptural project on a small triangular plot of land alongside the Pacific Electric Railway Red Car tracks. In his early forties when he began, he worked on his project for the next 30 years and created what is now known as the Watts Towers. The Watts Towers consists of nine major sculptures, including two towers that are nearly 100 feet tall. The sculptures were constructed from steel pipes wrapped with mesh and coated with mortar. Rodia embedded the sculptures with pieces of tile, sea shells, pottery and glass as a tribute to his adopted country. The tallest tower is generally recognized as the longest slender reinforced concrete column in the world.

The Watts Towers are one of only nine works of folk art listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The site is now a unit of California State Parks and managed by the Los Angeles City Cultural Affairs Department. Each September there is a jazz festival and a drum festival at the park. This monumental art work is remarkably beautiful and worth visiting while on a road trip to Los Angeles.

September: Watts Towers Day of the Drum Festival

The Watts Towers Arts Center

The towers are located at 1765 East 107th Street, Los Angeles, California

Latitude/Longitude: 33.9406 / -118.2419

Map

Photographed by Gerald Thurman
July 5, 2005
Posted on RoadTrip America 3/06



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