I guess the fact that this wonderful work of art lies right in the middle of one of L.A.'s most notorious hoods could explain the reason so many people have never seen them. It took Rodia over 30 years to construct them in his backyard and it is a wonder he was never ordered to get a permit or be forced to take them down. Just goes to show how different things were back then.
Antonio Gaudi would seem to have been an influence in Rodia's art. The L.A. Times recently had an interesting piece on the towers. You can read it here.