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Notes on the Geography of The Western United States: Los Angeles 3: Photo 1

world pictures The Western United States: Los Angeles 3

Five miles south of downtown, rings of glass from old 7-Up bottles brighten one of the Watts Towers. The towers are made of steel rods caked with concrete in which glass, tile, pottery, and shells are embedded. They were built by Simon Rodia, an Italian immigrant who bought a lot in Watts in 1921. He called this project Nuestra Pueblo and worked on it until 1954, when he moved north to Martinez, near San Francisco. He lived there until 1965 and never returned to the towers, which on departing he had deeded to a neighbor. The city of Los Angeles tried to demolish them in 1957, but citizen action saved them, and in 1978 they were deeded to the state.

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