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Artist - Simon Rodia

Mosiac art.
Courtesy of WTAC
Another Watt Tower.
Courtesy of WTAC

You'd really have to be blind not to see the large steel towers touching the sky in Watts, Los Angeles. The nine steel forms are embedded with ceramic tile, pottery shards, seashells and broken glass. Two of the three main towers are nearly 100 feet high and contain the longest slender column of reinforced concrete in the world. Built by Simon Rodia, it took 33 years to complete.

In 1921 Simon bought himself a house and some pie shaped land. Alone, he began making the masterpiece he called Nuestro Pueblo which means "our town." Without any help from special equipment, scaffolding or even drawing board designs, Simon set out building his towers with a tile setter's tools, and a window washer's belt and buckle. During the next 33 years Simon filled his yard with three tall towers, a patio, three birdbaths, and a spire 38 feet tall. Not to be left out is a structure he called the Ship of Marco Polo which has a 28-foot tall spire. On top of all this, he built walls all around his yard and decorated it with a wide variety of objects and materials.

At 74, his work complete, he moved back to Martinez, California and never saw the towers again before he died in 1965. Unfortunately, a fire destroyed his old home in 1957, but what remains is still inside this complex maze of steel and is considered a cultural monument.

Do you have a masterpiece you would like to share with us? Or maybe you know someone else who has a masterpiece you'd like us to know about. Drop us a .

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