World Heritage Site

for World Heritage Travellers



Forum: Start | Profile | Search |         Website: Start | The List | Community |
Top 50 Missing www.worldheritagesite.org Forum / Top 50 Missing /  
 

Potencial T-List WHS that are overlooked and deserve publicity

 
Author winterkjm
Partaker
#1 | Posted: 18 Jan 2010 03:47 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Watts Towers, Los Angeles

I cannot find a single article online concerning the Watts Towers in relation to World Heritage. The Watts Towers may lack many of the requirements of a WHS, yet I am suprised to find it seems to have been completely ignored even as a site worth nominating. For any of you who have not visited Watts Towers, it is a sight to behold and the work and craftsmanship is astounding. Simon Rodia an immigrant with no education and virtually no money built from scratch the Watts Towers over a 30 year span (from 1921 - 55). As to why this incredible work of art/architecture has not been considered for nomination on the US T-List, is beyond me? Maybe its location in South Central and that negative label? Maybe the only problem is there are little or few people interested in nominating the site?

Positive reasons to nominate the site
- Truly representative of American diversity
- Immigrant recognition in Cultural Heritage
- Potencial positve factors for Watts community with recognition
- Exquisite example of Na´ve Art
- Preserved well, also nice art/gallery museum next to the site which provides tours

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#2 | Posted: 18 Jan 2010 12:01 
A particularly fine choice of 'Outsider' art.
I remember being amazed by these the first time I saw them (perhaps in Bronowski's Ascent of Man?) especially to find out that they were the work of someone who did not have any particular architectural knowledge.

A little while back I did toy with the idea of proposing Nek Chand's Rock Garden in Chandigarh, India. Again a similar sort of non official art.

Author Khuft
Partaker
#3 | Posted: 18 Jan 2010 16:51 
That reminds me of the "Palais ideal" by Ferdinand Cheval, in the France:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferdinand_Cheval

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#4 | Posted: 19 Jan 2010 02:55 
Maybe they should develop a serial site of Na´ve Art! Cheval's work in France looks very impressive, also strange, like Simon Rodia they labored 33 years on their masterpiece. Nek Chand's Rock Garden is also beautiful. Personally I like the idea of non-official art, and particularly creating something from scratch and other people's trash.

Simon Rodia's Watts Towers
http://listicles.thelmagazine.com/2009/10/17-soaring-shots-of-the-watts-towers/

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#5 | Posted: 19 Jan 2010 04:01 | Edited by: Solivagant 
Another example of this type of independently produced "architectural art" is the surrealist Las Posas near Xilitla Mexico. It is conveniently situated if visiting the nearby WHS of "Francisican Missions of the Sierra Gorda". See
http://www.xilitla.org/index.php

If you are interested in "monumental" artwork which makes use of "waste" materials there is the "Nimis" in Sweden. I visited it about 8 years ago - as far as I know it is still there despite threats and attempts by the authorities to remove it. See
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ladonia_(micronation) (click through the "did you mean.."!)

winterkjm might be interested in seeing how his/her country decided on which sites it would place on its recently revised T List
http://www.state.gov/p/io/rls/othr/93470.htm

Leaving aside whether Watts Towers "cuts the mustard" for becoming a WHS, an enormous barrier which faces many potential sites in USA is the US law which prevents any site containing private property becoming a WHS unless all the owners agree. This makes it virtually impossible to inscribe any built up area - especially given the widespread "cultural mistrust" of UNESCO (with which I am not entirely unsympathetic given its often heavy handed actions against certain targets!). Does winterkjm know (or could he/she find out??) if this applies to any buffer zone also. I visited Watts Towers many years ago and its location as I remember it then was in just another slightly run down suburban street surrounded by similar houses/gardens all of which would require restrictions to prevent inappropriate development!!

I also wonder if any of the (relatively few) cultural sites inscribed by USA (Independence Hall, Statue of Liberty, La Fortaleza, Monticello, Pueblo de Taos actually have a "buffer zone" since many were inscribed before UNESCO started insisting on such a feature.

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#6 | Posted: 19 Jan 2010 12:39 
The Watts Towers were designated a National Historic Landmark in 1990 by the NPS. On the plaque it states "These structures possess National signifigance in commemorating the history of the United States of America." The Watts Towers is located adjacent to the Watts Tower Arts Center, which includes a small park, parking lot, 2 buidlings for art galleries, events, and youth workshops.
http://www.wattstowers.us/

Watts Towers on its south portion is lined by 20 homes on 107th street. In recent years Watts Towers has seen a signifigant increase in funding, and some of this funding has went toward a beautification project of the community surrounding the Towers, particularly these 20 homes lined up directly behind the Towers. The only other area surrounding the Towers is the Railroad. I don't know if these homes would require a more signifigant buffer zone than just the street which currently seperates them from the towers. Watts Towers themselves are surrounded by a fence that is only unlocked if you're on a tour.

Being a National Historic Landmark now for 20 years, my guess is the residents located on 107th street are long used to visitors, and as I understand it many of them are directly involved in activities and events occuring at the Watts Art Center. Many of the homes are painted and adorned with art, which works well alongside the eclectic work of Simon Rodia.

- and yes I am very interested in how my country develops their T-List, thanks

Author Khuft
Partaker
#7 | Posted: 13 Feb 2010 07:31 
Not sure if you noticed, but Las Pozas in Xilitla has been put on Mexico's TL.

http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/5493/

Author Solivagant
Partaker
#8 | Posted: 13 Feb 2010 08:58 | Edited by: Solivagant 
I had missed that one Khuft! Strange that I should have mentioned it above - I never really thought that it was worth seriously considering for inscription!! I have some photos so may get round to doing a review. It is an interesting place to visit and should be seen if anyone is nearby visiting the inscribed Missions but of "OUV"? I don't think so - though Mexico seems to be vying with China to get large numbers of inscribed sites and needs something a bit different from Colonial Cities and PreColumbian ruins so could turn to its 3rd specialism - modern architecture (the site includes a suitable "modern house" as well - La Casa de los Peristilos. Though it is a private residence and I don't think we were allowed to visit it. http://www.architecturalescapes.com/ )!! I found its main interest was as an example of what a hippified English gent (Well half American actually and whose mother had possibly been fathered by King Edward VII!) of significant means could get up to in the 1950/60's! His earlier contacts certainly read as an artistic who's who - including Dali and Magritte! He had connections with Taos as well - so, if it ever does get inscribed, we are 2/3rds of the way towards another connection. The garden is "atmospheric" enough but how significantly inspired its surrealist credentials really are I am not expert enough to say - Mexico's sales pitch in the T List description sounds impressive, but then don't they all! Note, Windterkjm, if you haven't read it, that it refers to Watts Towers as a comparator!

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#9 | Posted: 19 Feb 2010 01:33 
Wow, this is kind of strange. I brought up Watts Towers a while back, after being impressed by my first visit there. I wondered about any potencial the site may have as a World Heritage site. I think it covers Criteria I: to represent a masterpiece of human creative genius. It is very interesting that Mexico compared Watts Towers with Las Pozas. This opens up the possibilty of Watts being nominated in the future. Particularly if Las Pozas is succesful, though I still like the idea of a trans-national nomination of non-official art. I suspect it might take another decade before the US nominates any new sites, but still it is fun to speculate on possible future WHS.

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#10 | Posted: 28 Oct 2011 13:51 | Edited by: winterkjm 
"First Majestic Silver Corp. of Canada had been granted 22 mining concessions for more than 6,000 hectares, nearly 70 per cent of it within the reserve."

Huichol Route through the sacred sites to Huiricuta (Tatehuari Huajuye)

The site is seeking federal protection, claiming that at the state level the locals are ignored in favor of potential profits from lucrative mining contracts.

"The World Wildlife Fund designated the area one of the three most biodiverse desert ecosystems on the planet."

http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/features/2011/10/20111027125212764306.html

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#11 | Posted: 28 Oct 2011 13:54 
I just realized I placed this post in the wrong topic. The site has been a tentative site since 2004.

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#12 | Posted: 25 Feb 2012 05:20 

Author meltwaterfalls
Partaker
#13 | Posted: 27 Feb 2012 06:54 
winterkjm:
Arch of Ctesiphon


I always thought that was on the T-list, I rather surprised that it is not, as UNESCO spent money on stabalising it.

Author winterkjm
Partaker
#14 | Posted: 22 May 2012 22:11 | Edited by: winterkjm 
Kalmiopsis Wilderness (USA)

- Recommended as a potential site for Unesco insription through the World Heritage Forest program.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kalmiopsis_Wilderness

Taroko Gorge National Park (Taiwan)

- I would love to see this beautiiful National Park become Taiwan's first WHS.

http://twh.hach.gov.tw/TaiwanContentE.action?id=2

Top 50 Missing www.worldheritagesite.org Forum / Top 50 Missing /
 Potencial T-List WHS that are overlooked and deserve publicity

Your Reply Click this icon to move up to the quoted message


 ?
Only registered users are allowed to post here. Please, enter your username/password details upon posting a message, or register first.

 
 
www.worldheritagesite.org Forum Powered by Chat Forum Software miniBB ®
 ⇑