Murals, Monuments, Monoliths—They All Make Up Havasu’s Art Around Town
Reconstructing the London Bridge must have been quite a challenge. Like building something with Lincoln logs or LEGOs—you always have plenty of pieces left over when you finish a project. Apparently, rebuilding the bridge was a lot like that as blocks of granite can be found all over town, a true testament to the massive undertaking in transporting and putting it all back together. Artisans in the area, wanting to take advantage of the raw materials while paying tribute to the bridge’s heritage, used massive amounts of the remnant materials to build fountains, monuments, and monoliths around the town.
In addition to the creative use of stone, paintings and sculptures also dot the landscape. Many, like the Murals on Mesquite, create a serendipitous feeling the first time you discover them.
Here are a few of our favorite pieces of art around town:
MURALS ON MESQUITE: Located along the busy intersection of Hwy. 95 and Mesquite Avenue, a series of painted murals depicts the early days of Lake Havasu from early Army surveyors to the development of Site 6 as an Army Air Operations facility. It also includes various stages of the re-building of the London Bridge. From images depicting T-6 aircraft, to early airline junkets, this mural is not to be missed. In fact, it makes sitting at a red light more enjoyable! If you’re viewing it for the first time, you’ll want to park your car and walk along to enjoy the detail.
ENGLISH VILLAGE: Everything at the entrance of the English Village is authentically English. When the London Bridge was dedicated on October 10, 1971, a one-acre parcel was donated to the City of London by Robert McCulloch. The Olde English Gate that greats visitors at the entrance of the English Village was originally part of the Witley Court estate in Worcester, England. Once owned by the earl of Dudley, part of the gate ended up in Lake Havasu.
Established in Roman times, the boundaries into the city of London, England were marked by these Heraldic Dragons which were placed by each entry into the city limits. These original dragons mark the boundary between the City of Lake Havasu and the parcel of land donated to the City of London, England where the present-day Visitor Center is located.
GOLD STATE COACH: Located in the lobby of the London Bridge Resort, this coach is the world’s only replica of the legendary coach. Pulled by a team of eight horses, the original coach is only used for English coronations at Westminster Abbey. The Gold State Coach has carried every British monarch since George III. The original coach, constructed of ornate carved and gilded wood, was painted by the Italian master, Cipriani.
CATCH OF THE DAY: The Red Onion on McCulloch Blvd. may be famous for their scrumptious, all-you-can-eat fish Friday, but this is a fish of a different tale! Sculptor and red Onion owner Steve Van Ella created this monstrous catch about three years ago, using river rock, wire mesh screen, and steel. Van Ella is working to revitalize the Arnold Plaza area of town and has perfectly captured the ambiance of the Sonoran desert. The artwork can be found on the west side of the Red Onion near the intersection of McCulloch Blvd. and Smoketree Ave.
FOUNDING FATHERS: This bronze-cast monument, created by sculptor Lou Hunt, is located on McCulloch Blvd. as you cross over the London Bridge onto the island. The sculpture commemorates the accomplishments of the city’s founding father, Robert P. McCulloch, Sr. and master planner, C.V. Wood Jr. If you’ve ever been lost on the winding roads of Lake Havasu—or in Disneyland for that matter, you can thank Woods. He was the developer of both master plans.
QUEENS BAY FOUNTAIN: Built in 1990 as a tribute to the London Bridge, the Queens Bay Resort Fountain is centrally located along the entrance to the resort. The fountain uses the original granite blocks and ramparts left over during the reconstruction of the London Bridge.
WHEELER PARK: There are several components to this park which is centrally located in the traffic circle on McCulloch, just below the entrance to town’s Main Street location. A grassy area compliments the Wheeler Park Fountain. A granite memorial is dedicated to the American soldiers that have died in service to their country, in particular Captain James A. Wheeler of the United States Air Force. This location is one of the first parks/monuments in the city. Another component to the park is a series of granite monoliths—once again remnants of London Bridge materials—arranged in a familiar configuration lending itself to a Stonehenge-like appearance.