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Watts Towers
by Nancy Lupo

Why not just make it a Watts weekend?  This area is exploding with energy.  

At the 103rd St./Kenneth Hahn Metro Station (on the Blue Line), you will find Roberto Salas’s Totems in Red, which references the old ticket punch shapes used by conductors of the historic Red Cars (insert image from
At 1686 103rd, you can check out the Watts Train Station, a national historic landmark which will boast a train museum in the future.  Behind the Hahn metro station, you come upon the Cultural Crescent, a path leading to the Watts Towers.  And there you can hang out for a long time, contemplating the marvel of this structure.

The Watts Towers consists of nine major towers two of which are nearly 100 feet tall. The entire complex was built by Italian immigrant Simon Rodia, during his off-time from his job at Malibu Potteries where he worked as a tile setter.  Rodia worked on the towers for 33 years from 1922 until 1955.  He walked away from the project when every surface of the towers had been covered with tiles, pottery shards, glass, stones, and shells, and didn’t seem to look back.

The Watts Towers is one of nine folk art environments listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was deeded to the state of California in 1978.

Watts Towers
1761 - 1765 East 107th Street
Los Angeles, CA   90002

Tours: Friday, Saturday and Sunday every half hour from 10:30 a.m – 3:00 p.m.

Posted by Nancy Lupo on 9/23/07

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