We’ve been intrigued with hidden bowling alleys ever since Time Out New York compiled the favorite secrets of NYC bloggers. For the piece, we talked about pneumatic tubes and the portrait of Nabokov hidden in a mural at the Museum of Natural HistoryScouting NY‘s favorite secret was the Ridgewood Bowling Alley and taking his cue, we rounded up five hidden bowling alleys in New York City ranging from vintage to brand new.

1. Henry C. Frick Museum Bowling Alley

A gem of the Frick Museum in the Upper East Side is a bowling alley and billiards room they recently discovered, after having been hidden away for a century in their cellars. The room has a storied history, as curator Colin Bailey will have you know. The museum only allows a select few to view the eclectic and historic addition to the Henry Clay Frick’s mansion from 1914, which cost him the large sum of $850–about $19,856 when adjusting for inflation. NY Times’ Alan Feuer had the chance to visit this area of the museum under the guidance of Mr. Bailey, observing: “the pine-and-maple lane beds, the gravity-driven ball return, or the antique balls themselves, which strangely have two holes instead of the standard three. But what’s most impressive, what truly brings the whole thing into focus, is Mr. Bailey finally saying that the alley is out of use.”


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9 thoughts on “5 Hidden Bowling Alleys in New York City: Frick Museum, Port Authority, Ridgewood, The Aldyn, 15 Broad

  1. Village of Bellport has the same one as Frick Museum in the basement their community center.

  2. There is a 2 lane manual bowling alley in the basement of the Hunter-Bellevue School of Nursing. If my memory is correct, it is in the basement of the classroom building that faces First Ave, and not the student or RN residence. I remember using it back in the early 70’s when I was a student there.

  3. At 651 Academy St just a few steps off Broadway in the Inwood section in a two story office building under the flooring are 16 alleys. Eight on each floor that was Inwood Lanes. It was built in the 1940s and closed in the 1990s.

  4. Nice try but 3 W. 57th is NOT at 2nd Ave….off of 5th & identified as “private.”

    1. Amazingly enough, we found your answer. Stand by for a future Mailbag with our explanation!

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