Watts Towers

Thursday, 8th December 2005 by

You can see the Watts Towers in the centre of our thumbnail with shadows extending to the north. Compared to some of the towers we've previously featured, they look a bit, well, crap.

However, those other towers are all constructed by teams of engineers using cranes and scaffolding. Watts Towers were built single-handedly by a Mr Simon Rodia, over a period of 33 years. He began construction in 1921 and used junk steel, concrete, shells, glass bottles to create his towers. Pretty impressive.

The city was going to demolish the towers but public support forced them to reconsider. As a safety test a crane was used to shake the towers, yet none of them budged, and the test was concluded when the crane suffered a mechanical failure. The towers were deemed safe and have been preserved ever since. (Ground level pictures)

Thanks: Rob James & Robert Goddard