Modern British Art by David R Thomas: The dismantling of London Bridge, 1968 |





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David R Thomas:
The dismantling of London Bridge, 1968

Framed (ref: 3548)

Signed and dated, lower right, framed, 1968

Oil on canvas, 22 x 42 in. (53.5 x 104 cm.)

Tags: architecture Highlights of 20/21 Art Fair Metropolitan

 In 1962, London Bridge was falling down. Built in 1831, the bridge couldn't handle the ever-increasing flow of traffic across the Thames, and, like Venice, was slowly sinking. The City of London decided to put the 130-year-old bridge up for auction, and build a new one in its place. Robert McCulloch, founder of Lake Havasu City in Arizona and the chairman of the McCulloch Oil Corporation, submitted the winning bid of $2.46m. McCulloch spent another $7m dismantling the bridge, cataloguing the pieces and moving them to their new home via Long Beach in California - a process that saw them travel more than 10,000 miles in three years. The reconstruction began on 23 September 1968, with a ceremony attended by the Lord Mayor of London, who laid the cornerstone. Legend has it that as the (re)construction neared completion, McCulloch became furious as there seemed to be some towers and other bits missing. It is said that the oil baron thought he was buying the instantly recognisable Tower Bridge, rather than the less spectacular London Bridge.

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