Committee for the Simon Rodia Towers in Watts records, 1953-1989

Committee for the Simon Rodia Towers in Watts, est. 1954
Los Angeles, Calif.

Collection size: 0.2 linear ft.

Collection Summary: Writings, transcripts, legal papers and photographs compiled by Jeanne S. Morgan, founding member and executive director of the Committee for the Simon Rodia Towers in Watts, and its chair from 1978-1980. Included are unpublished manuscripts by Morgan about Simon Rodia (1879-1965) and his assemblage towers in the Watts section of Los Angeles; transcripts and excerpts (original tapes are lost) from interviews with Rodia, 1953-1964; evaluation of restoration work and deposition of Morgan in a legal case involving the Committee and restorer Ralph Vaughn; and photocopies of photographs (originals lost) taken by Morgan and other committee members, actor Nick King and filmmaker Bill Cartwright.

Biographical/Historical Note: The Committee for the Simon Rodia Towers in Watts was founded ca. 1954 to preserve the unique sculpture by Simon Rodia at Watts Tower, Los Angeles, Calif., in response to plans by the City of Los Angeles to have the towers destroyed. For sixteen years the committee raised money, designed an engineering test to disprove the city of Los Angeless contention that the towers were unsafe. The members also ran an art center that offered free classes to the community. In 1975 the committee assigned the towers and art center to the city.

Donated 1997 by Jeanne S. Morgan.

How to Use this Collection

  • Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
  • For more information on using the Archives’ resources, see the FAQ or Ask Us.

Make a Request

Reading Room Reproduction