LACMA to start weekend shuttles to Watts Towers

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Starting in late July, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art will begin running weekend visitor shuttles to the Watts Towers in South Los Angeles. The shuttles will include a guided tour of the towers site and the adjacent Watts Towers Art Center, as well as transportation to and from the museum.

LACMA said that the shuttles will depart at 11 a.m. from the Urban Light sculpture in front of the museum on Wilshire Boulevard. So far shuttles are scheduled for July 23 and 24, Aug. 20 and 21, and Sept. 10 and 11.


Tickets for the tours can be purchased by calling (323) 857-6010. The cost for a Saturday tour is $20 per person ($15 for museum members). The Sunday tours include lunch at the Watts Coffee House and cost $43 per person ($38 for members).

The Watts Towers are a national historic landmark that consist of 17 structures that reach as high as 99 feet. Artist Simon Rodia completed the towers around 1954.

LACMA is a partner with L.A.'s Department of Cultural Affairs on the preservation of the site. (The towers are owned by the state of California and are managed by the city of L.A.) In February, LACMA received a $500,000, one-year grant from the James Irvine Foundation to carry out its work on the towers.

The Watts Towers have been a source of contention among various local groups over the maintenance and preservation of the fragile structures. The towers have been repeatedly vandalized throughout their history.


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-- David Ng