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
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.