16. Watts Towers.
Between 1921 and 1954, the Italian immigrant stone mason Simon (Sabatino) Rodia (1872-1965) constructed three towers at 107th Street and Santa Ana Boulevard in Watts, then the center of the African-American community, seven miles south of downtown Los Angeles. The towers' frames were built out of salvaged steel reinforced with chicken wire and cement, then decorated with bits of broken glass, pottery, tile, and shell gathered up near the tracks of the Pacific Electric Red Car. Rodia and his friend Politi were heavily influenced by folk art traditions, so Watts Towers was a logical site for the first comprehensive Politi retrospective in 2005.