There is a place I find to be very special in Los Angeles, despite it’s dangerous surroundings. For you travelers out there, it is safe to go during the day, but it’s not a good idea to wander around the neighborhood, especially on foot- there is parking by the art center which is a charming little oasis. The towers are a national landmark, built by an Italian immigrant that many thought to be a mad man, Simon Rodia, over the course of 30 years. Mr. Rodia was a construction worker and tile mason, and built these beautiful pieces of art out of steel, mesh and cement, but decorated it will all found materials, such as glass and tile… all without machinery.
The towers remind me of the Spanish artist Antoni Gaudi, with colorful tiles and bottles and so many fine details noticeable when you take the time to stroll through the grounds. The towers are outside so can be seen for free, but guided tours are also available. On the same property is a museum with changing exhibits that focus on multi-cultural exhibitions.
It warms my heart to support these passionate people in protecting a historic piece of art in a rough neighborhood. Well worth a visit!