Simon Rodia (1879-1965)
Watts Towers (1921-1954)
image by Gerald Thurman at roadtripamerica.com
Located in the Watts section of Los Angeles, Simon Rodia's Watts Towers are a brilliant wonder of one man's artistic mind, determination and hard working hand. Rodia spent 30 years on this artistic and physical feat.
The towers consist of 9 major sculptures and 2 of the highest towers are nearly 100 feet tall. Each sculpture is made out of steel pipes wrapped with mesh and coated with mortar. Rodia embedded all kinds of objects in the mortar, from shells, glass and tiles to teapots.
Having almost been torn down in the '60s concerned community members worked to save the towers and now the Watts Towers are one of only nine works of folk art listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Rodia's work reminds many of the work of Antoni Gaudi, his Sagrada Familia and Park Guell.