9. There Used to be a Bowling Alley in the Basement of Riverside Church
Since its inception, Riverside Church has portrayed more liberal sentiments and ideologies that, according to the book The History of Riverside Church in New York, ran “contrary to the sensitivities and beliefs of earlier Protestant theology, [and] implied a synthetic relationship between religion and culture.”
One fun fact that attests to the multi-use of the church is that it used to have four bowling alleys in the basement of the church. In 1938, Columbia University students could head to the church for an afternoon of bowling in what is a rather unorthodox college student hangout venue. There was also even a Columbia physical education class held in the church basement. Unfortunately for students and the community today, the bowling alleys are no longer there.
Check out 7 hidden bowling alleys throughout NYC.