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Looming silently over the streets of South Central Los Angeles, the magical sculptures called the Watts Towers are one of the treasures of American vernacular art. A collection of seventeen connected structures that center on several towers, one of which a 99-foot high, all made from concrete-encassed iron adorned in found glass, ceramic, and shells, the Towers were made by the hands of Sabato (Sam) Rodia an Italian immigrant who built his dream world over thirty three years. Rodia called them: Nuestro Pueblo (Our Town). Construction worker by day, artist by night, once Rodia finished his masterpiece in 1954, sold the property and never saw his creation again. But the wondrous visionary world he made became one of the most significant works of art and architecture of the last century, a national and international icon, and a powerful symbol of local identity. Yet over half a century later, the enigma of the Watts Towers continues to challenge us: What are they? What do they mean? What drove the artist to build them? This book offers a rich, multi-faceted understanding of the artist, his monument, and the communities his legacy has so deeply affected. Here, historians, folklorists, literary and film scholars, conservation specialists and other scholars join artists, filmmakers, and community activists to explore the many ways in which Rodia's work has been - and can be - understood. The essays confront the monument's place in contemporary debates about art and migration, in contested urban social spaces, and the links between art and community development. They also expand our understanding of the Watts Towers within the culture and history of the Italian diaspora. And here, also for the first time, long-silent archival materials from the UCLA Special Collections tell the "Watts Towers Narrative" in Rodia's own words as he reflects on his life and work. Today, the Watts Towers serves as "common ground" for the civic reengagement of art and community. This book is an essential resource for anyone wishing to experience the extraordinary legacy of Sabato Rodia: as an inspiring symbol of transformative creativity, of sustained resolve in adversity, and human vision, articulated around the Italian immigrant artist who created them.