Minnesota Museum of the Mississippi and other Natural Wonders

Watts Towers - Los Angeles, California

1727 East 107th Street, Los Angeles, CA

Watts Towers

The Watts Towers were built by Simon Rodia from about 1921 through 1955. Working alone in the evenings after his day job as a cement mason, Rodia tied metal bars into a scaffold structure, wrapped in wire and then covered with cement and decorated with glass bottles, tiles and seashells. The triangular site is surrounded by a high wall enclosing a sheltered area of small patios with planters and sitting places covered in tile mosaics and concrete designs. Rodia once lived in a small house here, which was also decorated in mosaics, but the house burned down several years after he moved away in 1955, leaving only the concrete fireplace intact.

The tallest tower is nearly 100 feet high, which lead many to question how safe and sturdy the towers might be. For some years after Rodia left, the towers suffered neglect and vandalism. But since the 1960s the Towers have been watched over and preserved by the Friends of the Watts Towers Arts Center.

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