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Los Angeles

Watts Towers

This is one of the great folk-art masterpieces of Los Angeles located in Watts. Working these structures singlehandedly, Italian immigrant Sabbatino "Simon" Rodia build them on his private property as a tribute to his adopted country. He worked entirely without drawn designs. The tallest of the steel towers rises 99 feet in height and all are decorated with colored glass, shells, pottery, tile, and other salvaged items imbedded into mortar. Preservationists prevailed to ensure the towers were designated as a city cultural monument. The work is an example of non-traditional vernacular architecture and American Naïve art. They became a designated a National Historic Landmark in 1990.