Madison Square Garden’s massive bowling alley

Over the years, the various Madison Square Gardens built in New York have hosted just about every sport: football, boxing, track, hockey, basketball, even swimming.


But who knew the Garden has once been converted into an enormous floor-spanning bowling alley—with pin boys perched at the end of each lane and wooden desks set up where judges sat and did the scoring?

MSG1890It happened in 1909,  when the Stanford White–designed arena was located on Madison Avenue and 26th Street.

The National Bowling Association came to town to hold its championship, transforming the place into a “bowlers’ paradise” with 24 lanes spanning the entire amphitheater—and $50,000 in prize money.

[Photo: Madison Square Garden 1900, MCNY]

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6 Responses to “Madison Square Garden’s massive bowling alley”

  1. Rich T Says:

    I’d have expected more than 24. A lot of regular lanes have that many.

  2. trilby1895 Says:

    Whenever I walk past that particular street corner, I stop and close my eyes trying to imagine standing in front of that magnificent pleasure palace of old. Why oh why did it have to be destroyed – the equal of Penn Station in stature and importance.

  3. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    I do that too. I’ll look for you next time I stand there and imagine it’s 1890, or 1910….

  4. KLBazur Says:

    I’m in.

  5. trilby1895 Says:

    I hear you both! I’m on a never-ending quest to find someone who will share the time-travel secret…..I’m only half-kidding.

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