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Saving The Watts Towers

from The LA Times

Strapped city wants donors for Watts Towers conservation

11:33 AM, July 17, 2009

WattsTowersThe Watts Towers may be a unique and symbolically rich work of folk art, but it is also a world-class money trap, vulnerable to earthquakes and the elements, and constantly in need of repair.

There’s been long-simmering discontent among some of the most intense admirers of Simon Rodia’s 100-foot-tall structure who say the city doesn’t spend nearly enough on its upkeep and criticize the quality of conservation work carried out by L.A.’s Department of Cultural Affairs.

WattsTowersDetail1Rodia, an uneducated Italian immigrant stonemason, labored on the towers alone for more than 30 years, starting in 1921, creating a triple-spired skeleton of steel and wire, fleshing it out with concrete and adorning its surfaces with colorful bits of glass, pottery, tile and seashells. It adds up to a national landmark that is, for many, an inspirational example of what one committed person can achieve.

“I had in mind to do something big, and I did,” Rodia said — as extensive a public explanation as he ever gave.

[ click to continue reading at The LA Times ]

Posted on July 20, 2009 by Editor

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