“I wanted to do something big and I did it.”
Simon Rodia (from the official Watts Towers site)
The Watts Towers, besides being an amazing feat of architectural design, are all the more incredible because they were created by Simon “Sam” Rodia –a man who was a seasoned construction worker, but not a trained architect–over 50 years ago and are still standing today. It took Rodia 34 years to complete this project, working alone without robots or Caterpillar backhoes, but the consensus is that it was time well spent. The complete backstory and videos of the Towers and Rodia are available on the official Watts Towers site.
Back in 2011, the LACMA partnered with the Department of Cultural Affairs and the city of L.A. to work toward preserving the Towers. This influx of cash and support was timely and necessary. Beyond that, LACMA’s partnership made a strong move toward uniting the arts community in L.A. and brought higher visibility to this often-overlooked landmark.
LACMA recently interviewed Dominique Moody, an artist who works right next door to the Towers, about what it’s like to live, work and be inspired by the Towers and the community surrounding them. This interview offers more evidence that many of the things we want in L.A. might already be here, hidden in the open, waiting for us to go discover them.
Thanks to @ElRandomHero for bringing this great interview to our attention!