If you've been following along with my blog and Instagram, you'll know that I am a big fan of street art, public art, and urban art. When I heard the the world's largest single piece of art constructed by one individual was located in South Central Los Angeles, I knew I had to take the trip down there to see it for myself. It took one man, Italian immigrant Sabato Rodia, 33 years (yep, THIRTY THREE years...that's dedication if ya ask me!) total to built and he constructed the towers without any machinery or power towels. He built the towers from the ground up in steel covered with mortar, and then decorated the towers with mosaic tiles, glass, clay, shells, bottles, and rocks.
According to the Watts Tower website, "The tallest tower (third from left) is 30 meters high. The tower to the left of it is 29.5 and the next one 16.76 meters high. The highest tower contains the longest slender reinforced concrete column in the world. The monument also features a gazebo with a center column and a spire reaching a height of 38 feet. Rodia's "ship of Marco Polo" has a spire of 28 feet, and the 140-foot long "south wall" is decorated extensively with tiles, sea shells, pottery, glass and hand-drawn designs."
My mom is also a lover of art, so the two of us went on a thirty minute tour, where we were able to go inside of the gated area and see the towers up close. If you decide to make the trip down here, I'd definitely recommend going at a time where a tour takes place so that you can hear more about the history, Sabato's inspiration for creating the towers, and examine the details of the towers up close, rather than from afar. Tours are $7 total. Our guide was super friendly and extremely knowledgeable - he was able to answer any and all questions we had and even offered to take pictures of us throughout the tour! The blogger in me appreciated that very much ;)
If you're a fan of public and urban art, I'd definitely recommend adding this hidden gem attraction to your LA Bucket List! The Watts Towers and Art Center is located at 1727 East 107th Street, Los Angeles California SA 90002. There's plenty of free street parking, and you can click here for more details on tour times and directions.
Before I leave you for the day, I'd like to share that I was reading online about the area of South Central LA and read, "South Central is a relatively impoverished region of Los Angeles infamous for gang violence. However, despite its negative reputation, it has improved in recent years and does offer certain sights for the traveler. This is where you will find the museums of Exposition Park and the famous Watts Towers, and the neighborhood of Leimert Park has developed as an African-American cultural center." I think it's important to mention - and start a conversation - around the reputation that South Central Los Angeles has and the history behind its neighborhoods. Click to read more about the history of Watts and West Adams neighborhoods, the LA riots, gang history, and more.
10/30/2015 08:05:42 am
Great pictures and blog about Watts towers! You've become an excellent photographer, journalist, and city explorer :) Keep up the good work!
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