Many people think this is the London Bridge, but it’s not. This is the Tower Bridge and is close to the Tower of London from where it gets its name.
The real London Bridge is the next bridge upstream and is quite ordinary as far as bridges go. It also never fell down despite the nursery rhyme. There is a popular urban legend that, in 1968, Robert McCulloch, the purchaser of the old London Bridge that was later shipped to Lake Havasu City in Arizona, believed that he was in fact buying the Tower Bridge, the one in this picture. This legend was denied by McCulloch.
The story is however fascinating. McCulloch had previously purchased a large section of land along Lake Havasu and opened a chainsaw manufacturing plant there. This was in 1964. Within two years there were three plants with over 400 employees. This was the start of of what is now Lake Havasu City. McCulloch went in search of some unique attraction for his new city and ended up in London. The 1831 London Bridge was gradually sinking into the river Thames and the City of London decided that a new bridge would need to be built. Rather than demolish the existing bridge, they decided to put the historic landmark on the auction block.
The rest is history. McCulloch bid and won the auction. It took three years to complete the project. The bridge was dismantled block-by-block with each block sectioned and numbered. The blocks were shipped through the Panama Canal to Long Beach, California and then trucked 300 miles inland. It was opened in 1971. The opening was attended by the Lord Mayor of London.