London Bridge in America: The Tall Story of a Transatlantic Crossing

Paperback review

Sat, Apr 26, 2014, 01:00


Book Title:
London Bridge in America The Tall Story of a Transatlantic Crossing


Travis Elborough


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In the mid 1960s London came under particular scrutiny from planners. The idea was to bring the city that still bore scars of second World War bombings into a new age of functional design, but only the removal of structures that impeded the daily movement of the masses would enable this. So 130-year-old, granite-clad London Bridge was put up for sale. After negotiations that sound like something out of Mad Men , the bridge was bought in 1968 by the US multimillionaire oil baron and chainsaw manufacturer Robert P McCulloch. Stone by numbered stone, the bridge was transported to the purpose-built city of Lake Havasu, in Arizona, where it was to span the waters of a lake that is fed by the normally red-tinged Colorado river. Elborough’s telling of this barmy true story is wonderfully detailed, and his affinity for the structure that people often confuse with its fancier cousin, Tower Bridge, is a fitting testament to the folly and wonder of human endeavour.