History of the London Bridge
Most people confuse London's famed "Tower
Bridge" with the less imposing "London Bridge". The song no
doubt refers to the efforts of the London town fathers to keep the
original bridge, built across the Thames River in 1830, from dropping
stones on passing boats and otherwise deteriorating. To make matters
worse, shipping interests complained that the bridge was too low. A
decision was made in 1960 to remove the original London Bridge.
A group of American businessmen raised seven and one-half
million dollars to dismantle London Bridge block-by block, and reconstruct
it across the Colorado River in Arizona as a tourist attraction. The work
began in 1968 and the restored bridge was dedicated in 1971. It actually
spans from the Arizona shore of Lake Havasu to a beach island just off
shore, rather than across the Colorado River. The bridge has become a
tourist theme, and 30 years later is surrounded by the London Bridge
Resort, the English Village shopping area, numerous other
resort hotels and a casino. It is a popular destination for the relentless
stream of retired tourists who fill the parking lots with RV's (which am
now convinced means "Retirement Vehicle").
Most people are not aware that the bridge beginning in the15th century was built solidly with homes, shops, tenements,
even a church.