LA Community: Watts Towers Park
Partner Tiffany Beamer and Landscape Designer Jenny Jones are collaborating with the Trust for Public Land and the City of Los Angeles to develop a master plan for LA’s historic Watts Towers Park. The site, located on the National Register of Historic Places, is home to a collection of 17 interconnected structures created by Sabato “Simon” Rodia. Rodia, an Italian immigrant construction worker, built the structures over a 33-year span from 1921 to 1954, and the site has since become a beloved cultural landmark by surrounding neighbors and visitors from all over the world.
OLIN’s proposed plan will transform the park’s Cultural Crescent, parcels of land adjacent to the towers, into a cohesive site that welcomes viewing and enjoyment of the towers while celebrating the rich arts programs that exist currently on site at the Arts Center Campus.
Currently, Tiffany and Jenny are working with the Trust for Public Land to gather input from community stakeholders to generate ideas and build consensus on the development of the space’s aesthetics and programming. So far, they have participated in three community meetings and are beginning the process of incorporating community feedback into design concepts.
Regarding the vision for the site and the community, Tiffany says, “This community is one that has an incredibly rich history and culture rooted in the arts, which extends beyond the towers themselves. Participating in the community meetings has been wonderfully informative and energizing, and we are looking forward to providing Watts with a master plan that will allow future generations of artists to thrive.”
The Trust for Public Land, a non-profit organization active in 34 states, conserves land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens and other natural places. In cities, The Trust for Public Land reclaims vacant lots and then crafts strategies for transforming the lots into community-designed parks and playgrounds. After development, they turn these parks and lands over to their cities for public use. In Los Angeles, they have reclaimed between 10,000-12,000 acres of land.