the Watts Towers Arts Center

verticality height and upward movement

The towers and Rodia's garage as seen from the sidewalk in Watts.
The towers and Rodia's garage as seen from the sidewalk.

The towers are not the only structures which Sam Rodia designed, or rather devised, and built by himself. He created the whole environment including his own house, which burned down after he had moved away from this location, the elaborate decorated walls around his lot, the structures under the towers themselves, the articulated floors of the outside spaces and smaller objects like planters. It is a shame that it now has been necessary to surround the entire towers area with a high steel fence to keep vandals out.

The garage which can be seen in the foreground was saved from the fire. It adjoined the house, of which the original interior can be seen in the documentary on this site about Sam Rodia and his towers from 1957. Even the garage doors are made of ferrocement. This material is basic element of all of Rodia's structures: cement, sand and iron rods, wire and mesh like chicken wire. Pieces of bottles, pottery, tiles, glass and shells were used to decorate the surfaces by embedding them in the cement.




2006-2017 Los Angeles
website by Lucien den Arend sculptor
photography © Lucien den Arend
lucien at denarend dot com

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