You would’ve probably heard of “The London Bridge Falling Down” at some point during your childhood. But, did you know that a portion of the London Bridge now resides in Arizona? A large portion of concrete bridge was relocated from London, England to Lake Havasu, Arizona.
So what triggered the move? Heavy traffic. The bridge was originally constructed in London in 1831 by John Rennie, but was later completed by his son. It wasn’t until the early ’60s when the bridge was deemed to be unfit to support extra weight of heavy traffic. Then, it was up for sale by the city of London.
The bridge was purchased by Lake Havasu City founder Robert P. McCulloch, who was chairman of his own oil company as well. McCulloch decided to purchase the famous bridge, in order to serve as a tourist attraction to bring more visitors to his newly established city. It was rumoured that the bridge would be the iconic tower bridge of London, however, the purchaser was quick to dispel such rumours.
The bridge would become a highlight of Lake Havasu, which until then was a barren land that was experiencing a tough real estate market, due to its location which was practically in the middle of nowhere. McCulloch was convinced by real estate agents to purchase the bridge as a means to attract more land owners.
The London Bridge was dismantled and shipped over to the US in pieces. These portions arrived in California, where they were gradually transported to Lake Havasu. The re-assembly and modification of the bridge, with the original foundation intact, began in 1968 and was finally completed in late 1971. Once Arizona’s very own London Bridge was finally in place, land owners from all over the US were attracted by the charm and novelty of having a piece of London within access.
This sparked the development of Lake Havasu into a quaint and unique English Town, as McCulloch sought to develop the area around the theme of the London Bridge. As land owners invested in the city, McCulloch managed to profit greatly and collect enough funds to offset the cost of importing the bridge.
Now, Lake Havasu City has evolved into a charming and unique English Village with matching architecture and novelties. There is an old-style open-air mall fit with hedge mazes, as well as charming museums to attract tourists from all over the world. The real estate market has been flourishing ever since and even today new housing areas are sprouting up with the construction of new condos and homes.
So, if you’re looking for a little piece of London, you won’t have to look that far. There’s a London Bridge right in Arizona that’ll connect you with a charming classic English Village. You’ll feel like you’re right in the old city of London in no time.