Wikimedia Commons

A town of 52,000 people has called the famous bridge its own since 1971.

In 1962, the London Bridge (131-years-old at the time) was discovered to be sinking into the Thames, unable to handle 21st century traffic demands. By 1971, it was reborn in a new planned community of 8,000 people ... in Arizona.

Robert McCulloch, founder of the Lake Havasu City, won the old bridge with a $2,460,000 bid at the City of London's auction in 1968. McCulloch then spent another $7 million to have it moved to the community he established in 1964.

The bridge's exterior granite blocks were numbered and transported by ship, then rebuilt over a reinforced concrete structure built on land in-between the main part of the city and Pittsburgh Point, a peninsula connected to Lake Havasu. After the bridge was reconstructed, the Bridgewater Channel Canal was dredged under the bridge and flooded.

View Larger Map

It was officially dedicated at a ceremony on October 10, 1971. A Los Angeles Times report at the time called it "a bizarre ceremony combining hoary English pomp and Arizona informality." McCulloch, Sir Peter M. Studd, lord mayor of London, "other London officials, their ladies and 17th century pikemen" were in attendance, along with 25,000 spectators.

McCulloch, who died six years later, hoped the bridge would turn Lake Havasu City into a tourist magnet, anchoring a complex filled with shops, restaurants and hotels. While the "English Village" built next to the bridge often leaves visitors disappointed, the town continues to grow, its population now at 52,000 and the bridge still its main attraction.

Image courtesy Flickr user frankpierson
Image courtesy Flickr user fstorr
Image courtesy Flickr user fstorr
Image courtesy Flickr user cobalt
Image courtesy Flickr user bigweasel

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Life

    Amazon Whittles Down List of HQ2 Contenders to 20 Finalists

    The list skews toward larger cities and metropolitan areas along the Eastern corridor, stretching as far north as Toronto and as far south as Miami. And it looks like some of the economic incentives might be paying off.

  2. A man sits in a room alone.
    Equity

    The World's First Minister of Loneliness

    Britain just created an entirely new ministry to tackle this serious public health concern.

  3. Transportation

    On Paris Metro, Drug Abuse Reaches a Boiling Point

    The transit workers’ union says some stations on Line 12 are too dangerous to stop at. What will the city do?

  4. Equity

    Immigration Raids, Coming to a Store Near You

    Immigration officials said purpose of their raids on 7-Elevens was to target employers. The evidence suggests otherwise.

  5. Life

    To the People Who Want to Spend 36 Hours in Washington

    Spend a day-and-a-half in D.C. and you just might find a city beyond the politico caricature.