"From trash to treasure" pretty much sums up the Watts towers. The towers were built by an Italian construction worker Sabato "Sam" Rodia over a period of 33 years from 1921 to 1954. They were created with found objects such as glass bottles, sea shells and tile, and were built entirely by Rodia's hand. He even bent the towers' framework from scrap rebar and climbed the towers to install them.
It is sad that Rodia abandoned his property, supposedly due to abuse from his neighbors. The state then tried to demolish the towers, claiming that they weren't structurally sound. However, when they did tests on the towers with a crane, they found that the towers were so strong, they broke the crane! Thankfully, the towers were later purchased and turned into a historic landmark.
Do pay the small entry fee for a tour of the towers. Our tour guide was the most knowledgeable and friendly guy who obviously cared deeply about the towers. I will never forget the Watts towers--it inspires creativity and artistry, and it reminds us to walk to the beat of our own drums.
a boot in one of the concrete beams