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Subject: Watts Towers of Simon Rodia State Historic Park

Watts Towers of Simon Rodia State Historic Park

From: N.J. Bud Goldstone <budgoldstone>
Date: Thursday, December 18, 2003
We need your help as conservation advocates and professionals. With
insufficient funding as their excuse and/or reason, the City of Los
Angeles has embarked on an ill-advised campaign that shall destroy
the artistic integrity of one of only four US Historic Landmark
Structures in Los Angeles: the Watts Towers of Simon Rodia State
Historic Park. The fragile sculptures just came off the endangered
list in 1991 and we think they must be put right back on.  All they
need is some art conservation expertise and that is standing by with
many of us ready to help! Please notify the National Park Service,
CA State Parks or the City at mreese [at] cad__lacity__org.

Since 1959, I served as volunteer conservation engineer. From 1979
to 2000 I was the paid, contract Conservator in Private Practice to
the State of California and the City under contracts. We managed to
perform repairs and art conservation in that time to restore and
repair damages from the Long Beach, Whittier Narrows,  Northridge
and Hector Mines Earthquakes and from more recent Rain and Flooding
but not from the recent November 12, 2003 Watts Hailstorm Disaster.
Private Citizens, the State, the Federal and City governments spent
about $5.7M since 1959 on these efforts.

Now, the City of Los Angeles, using what we believe are incompetent
managers, is micro-managing the conservation program and, since
1994, has been neglecting and endangering the historic sculptures
(1921-1965) of Simon Rodia (1879-1965). The City received the
sculptures as a gift in 1975 from me and the Committee for Simon
Rodia's Towers in Watts and they have failed to perform vital
inspections and maintenance work since 1994. This was just verified
in August 2003 by State-appointed conservation experts, Dr. Frank
Preusser and John Kariotis. So help! Write or call the City Director
Margie Reese and/or Ted Jackson, Jr. of the State of CA or Steade
Craigo of the CA Office of Historic Preservation at
mreese [at] cad__lacity__org or State at Tjack [at] parks__ca__gov or
scrai [at] ohp__parks__ca__gov.

For more gory details, I am budgoldstone [at] yahoo__com or 310-568-1571.

Bud Goldstone, conservation engineer
co-author The Los Angeles Watts Towers, 1997, J. Paul Getty
Museum/Getty Conservation Institute
6719 West 86th Place #2
Westchester CA 90045

                  Conservation DistList Instance 17:47
                 Distributed: Friday, December 19, 2003
                       Message Id: cdl-17-47-001
Received on Thursday, 18 December, 2003

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