A new skateboard park located 40 yards from the Watts Towers is being proposed by City Councilwoman Janice Hahn, and backed by Tony Hawk, and philanthropist Casey Wasserman, reports the Los Angeles Times. Yes, there's resistance, and it comes from people closely associated with the iconic towers. "How would we feel about... a noisy skateboard park being planned in the vicinity of the Getty or LACMA?" asks scholar and Towers specialist Luisa Del Giudice. Besides din, there's also concern over drugs, violence, and graffiti taggers. In pushing the skatepark, Hahn made the point that the Towers are an appropriate spot for a skatepark because other South LA areas free of gang control are "few and far between" (kind of embarrassing for a city councilwoman to admit, no?). This is the latest effort to rebrand the area around the Simon Rodia's towers as a tourist and/or cultural destination complete with restaurants and galleries. The Community Redevelopment Agency owns the spot where the park would be built; the CRA's board would have to approve the decision, and then the City Council. There's also the issue of money: Tony Hawk's foundation has raised $44,000 for the project and Wasserman (grandson of Lew) has pledged support, but according to the pro bono designer, the final pricetag will be around $350,000.
· Getting Rad at the Watts Towers [LA Times]
· Venice Skateboard Park Now Open in Dogtown [Curbed LA]