Baltimore's Recreation Bowling Alley; 100 Lanes

By Owens Pomeroy <>

     One of the most exciting sports facilities here in bygone Baltimore was the Recreation Bowling Alley on Howard Street at Center across from the old Grayhound Bus Terminal. What was facinating about it was that it contained 100 alleys where nearly every Club, or Corporation League bowled. It was the largest Bowling alley in the U.S. and maybe the World at that time.

     Housed in a building next to the old White Coffe Pot Restaurant, it was a five-story one, with 20 lanes on each floor, with the top floor reserved for ten pin bowlers, for those who prefered them, as Baltimore was a duck-pin town, and the game of Duck-Pins was invented here.

     One of the features of this alley, was the Annual Sunpapers Professional Bowling Tournament sponsored by the A.S. Abel CO., Publishers of The Sun, a local Baltimore Newspaper. It drew Professioal Bowlers from all over the State of Matyland. Toots Barger was the reigning World's Champiion Woman Duckpin Bowler, having won every tournment she was in. She remained Champion until she retired in the late 50's, and was hired by the Recreation Alleys as a teacher of bowling and gave demonstrations for Charity. Each one of those tournaments played to a full house and was broadcast over WCBM, with Eddie Feton as the Announcer.

     The building was eventually sold and became an ofice building and headquaters for the Baltimore Colts excutive Offices. I do not know if it is still standing or not, since it has been quite awhile since I was downtown, but the memories of those League nights and the Tournmant are still vivid in my Memories of a bygone Baltimore that wil never retutn again.

Owens Pomeroy
Baltimore, MD

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