Today British Government designated Abbey Road zebra crossing in St. John's Wood, London as a site of national importance. The crossing has been declared as a Grade II listed site on the advice of national preservation body English Heritage.
This means the crossing can be altered but only with the approval of the local authorities which would make a decision based on the site's historic significance, function and condition.
The cover photograph of The Beatles' Abbey Road album is one of the most famous and most imitated album covers in recording history. Photo was taken outside of Abbey Road Studios, where the album was recorded. The Abbey Road Studios themselves had been given Grade II status earlier in the year.
Some interesting facts about Abbey Road album:
- Abbey Road is the eleventh studio album by The Beatles. Though Let It Be was the last album released before The Beatles' dissolution in 1970, work on Abbey Road began in April 1969, making it the final album recorded by the band.
- The Abbey Road cover is the only Beatles album cover of their original UK albums to have neither the group's name or an album title visible.
- At some point, the album was going to be titled Everest after the brand of cigarettes Geoff Emerick, the engineer of the album, used to smoke. The idea included a cover photo in the Himalayas but by the time the group was to take the photo they decided to call it Abbey Road and take the photo outside the studio on 8 August 1969.
- The cover photograph was taken by photographer Iain Macmillan. Macmillan was given only ten minutes around 11:30 that morning to take the photo on a zebra crossing on Abbey Road while a policeman stopped the traffic.
- The man standing on the pavement in the background is Paul Cole (c. 1911 – 13 February 2008), an American tourist unaware he had been photographed until he saw the album cover months later.
- After the album came out, the number plate LMW 281F was stolen repeatedly from the white Volkswagen Beetle car, parked next to the zebra crossing. In 1986, the car was sold at auction for £2,530 (equivalent to £5,526 today) and is currently on display at the Autostadt museum in Wolfsburg, Germany.