Abandoned bowling alley becomes furniture

Ape Lad sez, "The bowling alley I once enjoyed as a child (in Riverside CA), is now furniture."

An abandoned bowling alley finds a second life in this beautiful series of furniture by LA-based designer/woodworker William Stranger. Crafted from reclaimed strips of wood salvaged from a local defunct Tava Lanes Bowling alley, the collection springs to life in a variety of forms including a series of wall hangings and a low coffee table.
Recycled Bowling Lane Furniture is Right up Our Alley (Thanks, Ape Lad!)


  1. This is such a great way to use re-claimed wood. I recently purchased 2 large slabs of bowling lanes such as this to make counter tops for a kitchen remodel. It was a small fraction of the cost of most other green building products and looks absolutely amazing when finished.

    1. Would love to see the end – I was looking to buy bowling alley wood to do the same and would love advice.

    2. I was wondering if you could tell me where you purchased the recycled bowling alley wood you used for your kitchen counter top?

  2. Oh, now this is fantastic. No sarcasm for miles, I really love it.

    I just wish I had an abandoned Bowling Alley nearby.

  3. I’d rather have the entire lane with the ball return track and pinsetter installed in my hallway. Fun city!

  4. I bought an old gymnasium floor, and it’s amazing. 1″ thick (2.54 cm) solid maple tongue in groove. I’ve used about 1200sf of it but have about that much left. The hardest part is storing it!

    Reuse!!! It’s fun and exciting!

  5. I forgot to mention the most amazing part: the high school my floor was out of was just throwing it away. About 2,000sf was reclaimed but the last 8,000sf ended up in a land fill. I cringe just thinking about it.

  6. My wife’s childhood dining room table was made from a bowling alley. On top of that awesomeness, it was hung from their ceiling by chains! That table is now in our basement as a craft table, although we put 3×3 cherry legs on it. Bowling alley is hella heavy, but really beautiful and functional.

  7. I made a replacement front door for a bar in Vermont in 1973 out a candle pin bowling lane, 2-1/4″ maple. No one ever kicked the door in again.

  8. i was at a party in someones house here in Portland, Oregon this past weekend and they had a basement bar; the bar itself was made from part of an old bowling alley lane.

  9. A friend of mine had a bowling alley’s worth of this stuff, and boy did it make excellent tabletops and workbenches. I never was able to score any for myself, though.

  10. I miss Tava Lanes. They just razed the place in the last couple years, it was still active until a year or two before that.

  11. The Green Leafe Cafe in Williamsburg, VA’s furniture is all made out of wood left over from a bowling alley that used to occupy the building about 30 years ago.

    I’m pretty sure the owners were being frugal, rather than “sustainable,” although it’s pretty cool nonetheless, especially given that it’s held up all these years.

  12. It doesn’t have to require the death of a bowling alley. With sustainable bowling ball lane harvesting, they can remove just parts of the bowling ball lane and let it grow back, enabling future generations to enjoy these magnificent beasts.

    Or, in slightly less snarky terms, bowling ball lanes do eventually get worn to the point where they need to be replaced, and if you know the right people who know the right people you can find the leftovers even if the alley is staying open.

    I had a workbench made out of the stuff. Apart from a dimple that I could never get flat (someone must’ve thrown a ball straight up, which is why that section needed to be replaced), it was the best workbench I’ve ever had.

    Sigh. I miss that workbench.

  13. The original owners of my house built it from scrap materials in the mid-50s. The floor is old basketball court, laid down randomly. Because they were installing carpet and linoleum over it, they didn’t bother to sand off the old painted lines. We ripped out the over-flooring and happily showcase the random bits of half-court and what-not lines that decorate the floors. Beautiful, and for us, going “green” meant just keeping what we had.

  14. does anyone have input for an environmentally friendly product to refinish and seal the old bowling alley with? We have turned 13 feet into a dining room table and have stripped the old varnish, but now want to seal and protect. Anyone have input from what they have tried and used?

  15. Can someone tell me where this collection is in LA? I am the former owner of Tava Lanes & would LOVE to see this!!!! We have saved many of the lanes in the hope that we would use it one day in our home. Would LOVE to see it!! THANKS!!!

Comments are closed.