Watts Towers (USA) – description, history, location. Exact address, phone number, website. Reviews of tourists, photos and videos.
The Watts Towers is a vivid example of the fact that in the city of mirrored skyscrapers it is not the skyscrapers that are most interesting, moreover, they are by no means mirrored, but assembled almost from scrap materials. The collection of 17 communicating towers up to 30 meters high is somewhat reminiscent of Gaudí’s futuristic buildings – which is not at all accidental: their creator Sabato Rodia was from Italy and managed to bring the sunny mood of his homeland to Los Angeles.
A bit of history
Sabato Rodia was born in the Italian town of Serino and moved with his family to the States at the age of 15. He spent his youth in ancillary work, and met his maturity as a quarry worker and a track layer. In 1921, Rodia acquired a piece of land on the then abandoned territory on the outskirts of Los Angeles and began construction of a structure, which he called in Spanish – Nuestro Pueblo (“our village”). However, it looked a little like a village in the minds of Sabato’s neighbors: strange wriggling steel structures decorated with improvised materials began to appear on the site: bottle bottoms, glass shards, ceramic tiles and other stuff. It is clear that the conservative provincials did not like the exercises of the Italian emigrant, so the creation was often broken. However, Rodia did not despair: “I wanted to build something big and I will do it.” This is how one of the city’s most recognizable monuments appeared on 107th Street in Los Angeles.
The Watts Towers took 33 years to build, as Rodia turned to creativity exclusively in his spare time.
In 1955, Rodia completed the construction of the towers, fell into some depression from the fact that people were not very interested in his brainchild (and if they were interested, then with the aim of breaking something), wrote off the plot to a neighbor and left to live in another city. The building gradually fell into decay, until the Los Angeles City Hall decided to raze it to the ground. However, representatives of bohemians stood up for the towers: actors and directors bought the site and organized a public committee. In 1975, the towers were donated to Los Angeles, and three years later they were taken over by the state of California.
What to see
The Watts Towers are an example of futuristic architecture with a touch of ethno and naiveness almost in the heart of Los Angeles. Seventeen structures of different heights have romantic names (such as “Marco Polo Ship”) and communicate with each other. Inside, the towers are hollow, which allows you to take a good look at the details of the supporting structures and marvel at the genius of this architect, not by education, but by vocation. Particular attention should be paid to the details of the decoration of the towers: the supporting beams are figuratively wrapped with wire, glass, tiles, ceramics, pieces of metal and shells are everywhere. By the way, in search of material, Rodia walked more than 30 km over rough terrain, carefully looking at his feet – that’s what passion means!
The eponymous Arts Center, located next to the Watts Towers, hosts various exhibitions and cultural events, the plan of which can be found in advance on the center’s website.
Address and opening hours
Address: 1765, East 107th street, Los Angeles
Opening hours: Mon. and Tue the towers are closed, but the structure can be observed from the street. Wednesday to Sunday from 10:30 am to 4:00 pm. Guided tours are organized every half hour.
Entrance – 7 USD.
Address: 107th St, Los Angeles.
Website: wattstowers.us. The prices on the page are for November 2019.
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