the Watts Towers Arts Center

about SAM (SIMON) Rodia

was born on February 12th, 1879 in Ribottoli Italy.

"I build the tower people like, everybody come."


The trailer of the movie "I Build the Tower" The full length film, which can be ordered from the filmmakers Edward Landler and Brad Byer, includes an interview with Buckmister (Bucky) Fuller, who regards Sam Rodia, who built the Towers, as perhaps the person who will "rank with the sculptors of all history"."With their documentary feature “I Build the Tower,” Edward Landler and Brad Bryer have completed the fundamental task of immortalizing the story of Simon Rodia and the Watts Towers of Los Angeles".

Rodia's older brother immigrated to the United States in 1895 and settled in Pennsylvania where he worked in the coal mines. Rodia followed his brother a few years later. Little is known about his early life in the United States except that he moved to the west coast and found work in rock quarries and logging and railroad camps as a construction worker.

He lived in Pennsylvania, washington (Seattle), California (Oakland, San Francisco and Martinez), Texas (El Paso) and again in California (Long Beach).
In 1921, after having lived in Long Beach since 1917, Rodia purchased the triangular-shaped lot at 1761-1765 107th Street in Los Angeles and began to construct his masterpiece, which he called "Nuestro Pueblo" (meaning "our town"). when he was asked why he made the towers, he answered "I wanted to do something big and I did it."

In 1955, when Rodia was approaching 75, he deeded his property to a neighbor and retired to Martinez, California to be near his family. On June 17th, 1965 Sam died there.

Sam (Simon Rodia) of the watts Towers

For further information on the Watts Towers of Simon Rodia located at 1761-1765 East 107th Street call the
Cultural Affairs Department (213) 473-8493 or
the Watts Towers Arts Center and tours
call (213) 847-4646 fax (323) 564 7030
add +1 when dialing from abroad

e-mail cadwattsctr@earthlink.net

Accommodations for disabilities are available upon 72-hour notice for department events/programs. Information in alternative formats also is available upon request.
Call +1 (213) 473-8343 or TDD (213) 473-8339




2006-2017 Los Angeles
website by Lucien den Arend sculptor
photography © Lucien den Arend
lucien at denarend dot com

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