|The London Bridge, currently located in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, USA, was originally constructed in London, in 1831. The bridge was the last project of engineer John Rennie and completed by his son, also named John Rennie. By 1962, the bridge was not structurally sound enough to support the increased load created by the level of modern traffic crossing it, and it was sold by the City of London.
The purchaser, Robert McCulloch, was the founder of Lake Havasu and the chairman of McCulloch Oil Corporation. McCulloch was purported to have purchased the bridge to serve as a tourist attraction to his retirement real estate development at Lake Havasu City, which at that time was far off the usual tourist track. The idea was successful, bringing interested tourists and retirement home buyers to the area.
The bridge facing stones were carefully disassembled and each piece was numbered. After the bridge was dismantled it was transported to Merrivale Quarry where 150mm to 200mm was sliced off many of the original stones. These were shipped to the bridge's present location and re-assembly began in 1968. The original stone was used to clad a concrete structure, so that the bridge is no longer the original it is modeled after. The reconstruction took slightly over three years and was completed in late 1971. Today, it serves as a popular tourist attraction for the city.
It is a popular rumour that the bridge was bought in the belief that it was London's more recognizable Tower Bridge, but this was ardently denied by McCulloch himself and has been debunked by Ivan Luckin, who sold the bridge.
Recent years have seen a large amount of development in the area of the bridge to increase tourist interest, though much of the development has been met with criticism by local residents. The original "English Village", a quaint English-style open air mall with hedge maze and historical museum, has deteriorated, with sections leveled. Many compare the changes to those now seen on the American side of Niagara Falls, where ill-planned growth caused the swift decline in the desirability of the area.
Location: Lake Havasu City, AZ
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