Watts Tower in LA

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For Simon Rodia, another man’s trash is another man’s tower. Watts Towers are handmade constructions diligently and passionately built by  Simon Rodia, a native of Ribottoli, Italy, during his time off work over the course of 33 years. The decoration materials … used and collected glasses, shells, pottery shards, bottles and tiles.

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“I had in my mind I’m gonna do something, something big.”

The tower reaches a height of 99 1/2, only stopping there because of the city limit.

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I like all the details of it. Such cool thing just seeing the different shards and pieces scattered all over the place. It seemed like he wanted to spread the love of this tower.

When Simon Rodia stopped construction of the towers in 1954 because of controversies after WWII, vandalism and some abuse, he called it “Nuestro Pueblo” which is Spanish for “Our Town”. Today, the city continues to preserve his works. Its community respect it highly. The Center of Watts District in LA, just few blocks from Watts Towers, feautres other Simon Rodia-inspired arts that were made from junks.

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By the way, this really is not the usual art installation. It is right smack in a dead-end street.

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I also saw this by their office … For my followers ….

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It truly is a magnificent one of a kind LA sight especially given its location, its history, its underlying message to people, and the passion of Simon Rodia.

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48 thoughts on “Watts Tower in LA

  1. Whata man to create this beauty from other peoples rubbish, seriously impressive. I hop the city continues to preserve it for future generations to enjoy and be inspired by. It reminds me a little of Gaudi but I prefer this because of the materials he used. Art for the average person, totally unpretentious. :-)

    • Completely unpretentious art. You gotta love that about it. They are really giving it a great effort to keep it. Fascinating too that it withstood many battles and weather’s wrath.

  2. wow!! I lived a long time in L.A. and never saw this, it’s fabulous!! and you did a great job capturing it in photos. wow….

    Also, I have seen that “may peace prevail on earth” post in two places here in the twin cities. I wonder who is behind the installation of those posts. One is in Rice Park in downtown St. Paul and I can’t remember where I saw the other one. I assume it’s the same post. It has that same message in different languages and I love it!!

    • Now when you go back you have a consideration to have a quick look of it. ;) Toby, now I’m extra curious about that May Peace Prevails On Earth post. First I saw them was in Japan. I get back here in Cali and only my second destination I saw it again. I may a mission… ;)Thanks for letting me know.

  3. What an interesting site. I am glad you included the photo down the road giving us idea of its location. Sure is in a different place. Loved the photos of all the details.

    Someone else posted about a similar type idea in southern CO. And then there is Salvation Mountain near the Salton Sea. Again, another man who was building his dream.

    • I love love that it’s just in a street somewhere. That’s just awesome.
      And yes, I already planned of going to Salvation Mountain next weekend or the next. ;)

  4. Wonderful to see such uninhibited creativity, Rommel. Love those crown and heart shapes in your mini gallery. I’d heard about this but never seen it in close up. Not what I expected at all :)

  5. Your photos are just great! I went to see the Towers for the first time when I was a very little girl, and they’ve always been so uniquely placed. There were many years following the Watts Riots when my memory is they were endangered, but now they are on the local history tours! If something lasts 60 years in Los Angeles it’s considered historic. LOL! I drive by the freeway exit once a week. I’ve been thinking of making a stop again soon. I’m so glad to see you’re back in the neighborhood. :-)

  6. How fascinating! Hadn’t heard of this before Rommel. There is a sculpture garden in India, in Chandigarh in the North, which was originally conceived out of scarp! Haven’t been there either :-)

  7. I heard a few years ago that there was some discussion held by city officials and a neighbourhood organization that were planning to have the sculptures demolished and the land used for something else. Glad to see that hasn’t come to past yet.

  8. really enjoyed this post…it’s good to know his creations are being preserved – interesting peace post like the one in Okinawa and i bet you were a bit surprised to see it standing and patiently waiting for you to come by and take a photograph. ha-ha! happy Saint Patrick’s Day, Rommel! :P

  9. Pingback: East Jesus | Yard of Imagination « The Sophomore Slump

  10. Pingback: Watts Tower in GTAV | artishorseshit

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