the Watts Towers Arts Center

facts and figures

On June 17th, 1965 Sam (Simon) Rodia died in Martinez California. He was born on February 12th, 1879 in Ribottoli Italy (read more on Simon Rodia).

The Watts Towers installation consists of seventeen major sculptures constructed of structural steel and covered with mortar, adorned with a diverse mosaic of broken glass, sea shells, generic pottery and tile, a rare piece of 19th-century, hand painted Canton ware and many pieces of 20th-century American ceramics -

built without benefit of machine equipment, scaffolding, bolts, rivets, welds or drawing board designs - besides his own ingenuity, Sam used simple tools, pipe fitter pliers and a window-washer's belt and buckle.

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.



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

Enter your search terms Submit search form
web wattstowers.us