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As the battle rages over a planned Watts Towers-adjacent skate park, the city's also working on a nearby project that'll hook the Towers up more directly to the Blue Line, which stops nearby on E. 103rd St. That station is also the site of the 1904 Watts Train Station from the Southern Pacific Railroad days (Wikipedia has a well-citationed list of horrible things that happened there in the early 1900s and refers to an old LA Times article that says it was the only structure on what came to be called "Charcoal Alley" to make it through the Watts Riots). Yesterday, the National Endowment for the Arts announced a $250,000 grant to the Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs to start turning the old station into an exhibition space and visitors' center where, according to the LA Times, "tourists can learn about Watts' history and cultural offerings, including the Watts Towers, four blocks away on E. 107th Street." (The station currently holds a local DWP office.) The transformation will also include an "artist pathway" dotted with installations, which will lead from the station to the Towers. The NEA also gave $100,000 to the LA County Arts Commission for public arts work in nearby Willowbrook.
· NEA awards Watts arts grant amid Towers skate park controversy [LAT]
· State Parks Guy Says Skate Park Could Damage the Watts Towers [Curbed LA]