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“Historic but Dangerous”
Review of Watts Towers

Watts Towers
Ranked #63 of 624 things to do in Los Angeles
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Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: <1 hour
Owner description: A unique folk-art masterpiece, this 99-foot-tall group of steel towers is decorated with scrap metal, bed frames, bottles, ceramic tiles, and thousands of seashells. One of LA's famous local landmarks, the towers were created by a construction worker who toiled over them in his spare time for 30 years until their completion in 1954.
Reviewed 10 October 2017

Watts Towers is one of those classic Los Angeles landmarks. It was created by the artistic vision and crafted by a single man Simon Rodia, several decades ago. Whereas many artistic creations, of this caliber, are lost to the hands of time, the city and the people of Los Angeles have caused this creation to remain.

Now, there are a few things to keep in mind about Watts Towers before you make the trek to visit this location. First of all, it is fairly small. Many photographs lead one to believe that it is very enormous. Though it is truly great in it's own uniqueness, the actual space that it inhabits is a very small area. Moreover, it is essential to note that there is a fence around the actual Watts Towers. There are periodic daily tours where you can actually move in and among the towers but other than that you cannot come in close and get touchy-feely with the creation other than at those time periods.

Also, it is important to note, for tourists who are not from Los Angeles, this is a very downtrodden area of the city. (This is not a criticism, it is simply a fact). Some people may actually be scared to visit this location. There is a security guard who watches over the property but be advised you are traveling to a very sketchy area of the city when you visit Watts Towers. In fact, driving to this historic landmark may make some people very nervous.

All this being said, this is truly one of the most interesting and artistic creations that was born out of the community of Los Angeles, California. For this and many other reasons, Watts Towers is one of those locations that you must see.

6  Thank Scott S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"short film"
in 6 reviews
"guided tour"
in 13 reviews
"art gallery"
in 7 reviews
"arts centre"
in 3 reviews
"metro blue line"
in 3 reviews
"incredible monument"
in 2 reviews
"unique structure"
in 2 reviews
"civil rights"
in 2 reviews
"definitely worth the trip"
in 3 reviews
"historic landmark"
in 2 reviews
"minute tour"
in 2 reviews
"interesting history"
in 3 reviews
"street parking"
in 3 reviews
"well worth the visit"
in 2 reviews
"walk around"
in 3 reviews
"immigrants"
in 17 reviews
"vision"
in 13 reviews
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19 - 23 of 241 reviews

Reviewed 20 September 2017

I was in the Watts district of Los Angeles for a meeting and was only a few blocks from the Watts Towers. Having lived in LA all my life, this was really the first time that I saw the Watts Towers close up walking around the enclosure area of the Towers. It was not open at the time for tours so I could only walk around and see some of the display boards around the outside and see the Towers. There is a nearby building that contains the history but it was not open. Nevertheless, it is an impressive set of towers that were built by Simon Rodia over many years. It is a personal expression of his art and is truly a joy to see. I look forward to returning soon and being able to go to the museum and actually get inside the fence and see it really up close.

Thank geotech522
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 August 2017 via mobile


I would not rate that site in such a high place and define the twoers as "must see" just "nice to see" is enough the site it is located
on the way to the airport if you have half an hour before arrival to the airport it will be perfect for that task

Thank AVINOAM R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 August 2017

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.

8  Thank Dromomaniac
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 16 July 2017

It's really nothing to look at. Not even sure why it's on the list of things to see and do. I guess it matters for some reason.

1  Thank Ken K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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