Standing outside the fence, looking in at the installations, you may be underwhelmed, as some have been. However, take the time to go into the adjacent centre, watch the short film and do the tour & you will have an appreciation of the whole installation that those who just look through the fence will have missed.
Once you know the story of the towers and the amazing way in which they were constructed, and the quirky man behind it all, you will appreciate them as they should be appreciated.
And, yes, the area around there is pretty darned seedy, so I can see why their last tour is at 3 - especially in winter, as once it gets dark I don't think that you'd want to hang around!
But the centre, art installation, street parking right outside, etc are all safe to visit & enjoy during the day.
Those who have found it underwhelming have made that judgement made solely on outward appearances & based on their own ignorance of the hard work and significance of the towers. So, if you're just going to look through the fence, I'd give it a miss, but if you're willing to watch the short film & take the tour, I really don't think that you could be disappointed with Watts Towers.
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