Where are the Watts Towers located?
On an unassuming plot of land, spitting distance from the train tracks that run through the center of an impoverished section of Los Angeles, you'll find one of the most stunning and improbable works of public art anywhere in the United States.
The Watts Towers are a series of multiple sculptures that rise like giant, inverted ice cream cones toward the sky. They consist of a collection of 17 interconnected sculptural towers, architectural structures, and individual sculptural features and mosaics within the site of the artist's original residential property in Watts, Los Angeles.
The openwork spires are embedded with shells, tiles, soda bottles, mirrors, shards of pottery and two grinding wheels. It remains an island of whimsy in the middle of an urban jungle.
The entire site of towers, structures, sculptures, pavement and walls were designed and built solely by Sabato ("Simon") Rodia (1879–1965), an Italian immigrant construction worker and tile mason, from 1921 to 1954. The tallest of the towers is 99.5 feet (30.3 m).
The Watts Towers were designated a National Historic Landmark and a California Historical Landmark in 1990 and became a symbol of pride for the often neglected and under-resourced neighborhood.
When much of the poverty-stricken area was destroyed during the Watts Riots in 1965, the towers were miraculously unharmed. The towers appear on the covers of albums by Harold Land, Don Cherry and 'Tyrese'.