The most famous street in rock history, Abbey Road, has finally been awarded landmark status in the U.K., 41 years after the Beatles trekked across it for the cover of their final album. The English Heritage gave the white-lined zebra crossing at Abbey Road "Grade II" status, the British equivalent of our national landmarks, which is uncommon -- the council usually grants this status to buildings, not crosswalks, the BBC reports. The nearby Abbey Road Studios themselves, where the Beatles recorded all of their classic albums, had previously been named "Grade II"-worthy.
"This London zebra crossing is no castle or cathedral but, thanks to the Beatles and a 10-minute photo shoot one August morning in 1969, it has just as strong a claim as any to be seen as part of our heritage," said John Penrose, Minister for Tourism and Heritage. Sir Paul McCartney was also pleased with the designation, saying in a statement, "It's been a great year for me and a great year for the Beatles and hearing that the Abbey Road crossing is to be preserved is the icing on the cake."
Ironically, while the zebra crossing will forever remain painted on Abbey Road, the famous crosswalk on the album cover was actually moved several meters about 30 years ago for traffic reasons. So the U.K. is actually honoring a pretty standard crosswalk and not the exact spot that McCartney walked across barefoot. But don't let that prevent you from buying John Lennon's white blazer from the "Abbey Road" cover at auction and crossing the street yourself.
- Abbey Road