King and Cartwright find themselves knee deep in it.*
(They get Goldstone up to speed.)


Page 2

William Cartwright - 2002

William Cartwright - 2002 A.D.

Bud Goldstone - 2002

Bud Goldstone - 2002 A.D.

The East Tower

The East Tower

canopy spin

The East Tower

The East Tower


    Several years passed.  Montoya still hadn't been able to raise the money to tear down his precious Towers.  Nor had the City quite gotten around to destroying them for him and then billing him.

   William Cartwright, film maker, and an actor friend of his named Nicholas King came out to visit Rodia's Towers in early 1959.  The two men immediately fell in love with Simon's structures.  One of the folks living on 107th street, that they "got talkin' to", told them that Montoya not only talked about selling the Towers; but about how he'd throw the property and the burned out house into the bargain too.  It was all they needed...

    Cartwright and King excitedly searched through the neighborhoods of Watts until they found Montoya.  And to their surprise, they found out that Montoya actually was considering selling the property.  They offered him $2,500 on the spot.  Montoya, somewhat reluctantly we're told, but with very little haggling over the dollar amount, took their offer.

   For immediate acquisition of the deed, Cartwright and King gave Montoya all the money that they had with them and wrote him a promissory note for the balance.  It's unclear as to whether or not Montoya told them about the demolition order.  They were excited.  Quite possibly, they were not listening and just didn't hear Montoya when he mentioned it.

    Whatever the case, after working piece meal at fixing things up around the place for several months, a decision was made by them to do some major remodeling.  And realizing that the City always likes to issue permits for the big change kinds of things like 'major remodeling', the two men went downtown to get permit for what they'd intended to do. Needless to say, the City informed them of the demolition order.

    It was more than a surprise.  It meant if they didn't do something the Towers would be destroyed and that they themselves would have to pay for their destruction (not to mention the remaining balance on the promissory note.)  Undaunted, they began talking to people and getting folks involved.  Bud Goldstone, aeronautical engineer, was one of them.

    As we all know, engineer and technical types are always with the questions.  But they almost always seem to ask the ones that we all could have thought of.  Goldstone's first of this kind was; "How can the City say they are unsafe and must be torn down if they haven't tested them to see how strong (or weak) they are?"

    Just over thirty years old, Goldstone was then working as an aero-engineer with a very well known aircraft manufacturer and defense contractor.  (We invite you to ferret out the name of that aircraft manufacturer if you're interested; but we will NOT include it here.)

    Goldstone had friends and he had a very quick and creative mind for a 'technical type person.'  (The word 'nerd' was not yet in vogue.)  He and few fellow engineers got clicking on the problem and it was determined by them that they could do something!

    What would it be?

  Read on...

* Aerial photos on this page were provided by USAF Colonel Mark Charles Dickerson, ret.