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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About rommel

I'm great at nothing. I'm not awful at all. I'm just whoasome. And that's all you need to know. :)

48 comments

  1. What a cool tower. The tower is must be a symbol of the city :)

  2. 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.

  3. That really is something special Rommel.I too hope they preserve it for future generations to gawp in wonder as we do

  4. oh, he built this 60 years ago. he was an innovative artist!

  5. 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.

  6. 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. ;)

  7. I never knew the Watts Tower was composed of so many tiles and colors. A sightseer’s and photographer’s dream.

  8. 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 :)

  9. So much love, patience and passion put in there. Those shells remind me of how resorts adorn their facades in La Union.

  10. 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. :-)

    • It’s a sign Deborah. :D Japan is wicked awesome, but I’m excited to sightsee California as well. Watts Tower is historic on its own.

  11. What a cool tower!! I’m glad you decided to take photos of this, some people probably don’t appreciate it! LA seems like such an interesting place, hopefully I’ll be able to visit it one day. :)

  12. 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 :-)

  13. 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.

  14. Got to appreciate the creativity and tenacity that went into the building of this tower. Quite stunning! Nice photos, nice post.

  15. Thank you for this, I thought Ive seen everything in LA and now this. I have also seen the “May Peace…. at one of our campground in Miami.

  16. Interesting project and post. I saw this tower in some TV-program. It was probably on Travel channel or something.

  17. I saw this as a kid living in L.A., but we just drove by and I didn’t look at it up close–I was a nitwit back then. It’s great.

  18. This art is reminscent of Guadi’s eccentricity. Interesting!

  19. Amy

    Gee, this one didn’t make it to my WP Reader… :?

  20. Sun

    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

  21. Amazingly creative!

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

  23. Pingback: Watts Tower in GTAV | artishorseshit

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