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Sabato Rodia's Towers in WattsArt, Migrations, Development$
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Luisa Del Giudice

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780823257966

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823257966.001.0001

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Without Precedent

Without Precedent

The Watts Towers

(p.90) (p.91) Without Precedent
Sabato Rodia's Towers in Watts

Thomas Harrison

Fordham University Press

This chapter considers the highly individual and unprecedented nature of Rodia's Towers. It argues that Rodia's emphasis in building these Towers was on the doing, on the creation of something not simply momentous, but momentous because it was unprecedented. In short, building these Towers was about making a beginning—envisioning something utterly new, and something that would always remain new insofar as its objective could not be clearly understood. The process of creation ended only when Rodia decided to quit building the Towers. In fact, the Towers were never finished; they were only terminated. After working on the Towers for more than thirty years, Rodia one day decided that he was through with them. He then gifted these to a neighbor and left Los Angeles for good. Once finished, the Towers had lost their purpose, for they were all about the doing.

Keywords:   Sabatino Rodia, Watts Towers, building, architecture, sculptures

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