Watts Tower - Watts, California

watts tower

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Watts Towers of Simon Rodia State Historic Park, 1765 E. 107th St., Los Angeles, CA

When you see the Watts Tower that you may have heard about, it boggles the mind that someone could create such an intricate network of sculpted metals and tiles.  It takes a long time to absorb the subsets that comprise the overall effect of this monster statement created just a block away from MetroRail station blue line in Watts, California.



Watts is a district of Los Angeles, California. The neighborhood is bounded by 108th Street, Century Boulevard and 107th Street on the north; Wilmington and Croesus Avenue on the east; Imperial Highway on the south and Compton Avenue and Central Avenue on the west. Watts enjoys an ideal location to Port of Los Angeles, Los Angeles International Airport and downtown Los Angeles.  Accessible by several freeways, a MetroRail station provides frequent daily transportation from Watts to Long Beach and Los Angeles via the Blue Line.



Several items of interest in Watts are the historic train station which celebrates its 100th birthday in 2004 and the Watts Towers, over half a century old. The Watts Towers include an Amphitheater, Gardens, Marketplace and Public Art that were built in 1999 as part of the Cultural Crescent Watts Redevelopment Project funded through the Community Redevelopment Agency Los Angeles.



The Watts Towers are comprised of 17 sculptural pieces constructed from steel pipes and rods, wrapped with wire mesh, coated with mortar, and embedded with pieces of porcelain, tile and glass. Two of the towers rise to a height of nearly 100 feet. Surrounded by houses in a residential community two short blocks walking distance from the Los Angeles Metrorail, you can exit the Watts station and get up close to the sculptures. While the gates are open on certain days of the week, you can still stand outside and see most of the details of this enchanted garden by looking through the ironwork gates or by looking straight up to the spire tips.



Inspired by his homeland, Italian immigrant, Simon Rodia used hand tools and broken glass, sea shells, pottery and ceramic tile creating a tribute to the spirit of individuals and their dreams. It took him 30 years from 1921 to 1955 to build The Watts Towers, one of only nine works of folk art listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The site is one of four US National Historic Landmarks in the city of Los Angeles and is managed by Los Angeles City Cultural Affairs Department for California State Parks. The towers are located at 1765 East 107th Street, Los Angeles, CA.