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Famous Los Angeles Architectural Landmarks

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It seems that Los Angeles, California has the magic ability to bring fame, even if the person, place or thing has been in hibernation for a few lifetimes. The line starts at the left for the most iconic landmarks in Los Angeles that have made it to stardom.

Since we are talking stars, why not start with the Griffith Observatory? This star-gazing venue is 80 years young and built on land donated by Griffith J. Griffith, who also donated the park that surrounds the observatory. The architects who designed the Griffith Observatory were John C. Austin and Frederick M. Ashley. Austin also designed Los Angeles City Hall and the Shrine Auditorium. The Griffith Observatory has appeared in several films, including “Rebel Without a Cause” and “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle” just to name a few.

Another Los Angeles landmark worth mentioning is the Watts Towers, also high up on the star meter. It was originally built by one uneducated laborer, Sobato Rodia, born in a tiny village of Ribottoli in Italy. In 1921 with his brother’s help he bought a small lot at 1765 E. 107th Street. 

Every day after he got off work, he would look for material to build his obsession. He lost his job, but kept building, despite the fact he didn’t have any permits or plans. His wife is buried underneath the tallest tower. The Watts Towers withstood earthquakes, and even after much of the neighborhood was destroyed in the Watts Riots of 1965, they stood strong and unharmed. Most of all, their fame is for being a symbol of pride for the underdog and a source of inspiration for the world. 

The Watts Towers have appeared on numerous album covers, and Rodia himself appeared on the cover of the Beatles’ album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. The Watts Towers are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Rodia died one month before the Watts Riots erupted.

From the Design Studio

“Working it Up!”

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by Gerald Olesker, CEO, ADG Lighting