ShareThis Page
Couple hopes to bowl over community by restoring Carrick Classic Lanes | TribLIVE.com
Allegheny

Couple hopes to bowl over community by restoring Carrick Classic Lanes

935140_web1_carricklanes7
Kristy Locklin | For the Tribune-Review
Inside the old Carrick Classic Lanes in March 2019. A couple is restoring the old bowling alley. Inside the old Carrick Classic Lanes in March 2019. A couple is restoring the old bowling alley.
935140_web1_carricklanes5
Kristy Locklin | For the Tribune-Review
Old bowling balls left by previous alley owners occupy nearly every corner of Carrick Classic Lanes.
935140_web1_carricklanes1
Lisa Casen inside Carrick Classic Lanes in March 2019. She and her husband are restoring the old bowling alley Kristy Locklin | For the Tribune-Review

In nearly every corner of Carrick Classic Lanes, dusty bowling balls peer out of the shadows like surprised faces.

“If they could talk, they’d have one heck of a story to tell about this place,” said Lisa Casen, who has owned the alley with her husband, Jeff Jackson, since 2007.

When it was constructed in 1929 as Stanley Parlors, the Brownsville Road building boasted two floors of duckpin bowling, a variation of the sport that uses smaller balls and pins. The venue changed ownership and names numerous times over the decades and was converted into a traditional American 10-pin bowling alley in 1961. It remained in operation until 1995, shortly after it was featured in the Woody Harrelson bowling film “Kingpin.”

The couple from Adams Township are working to restore the recreation center – which also houses three apartments and Whovilles bar.

The project has proved more difficult than making a 7-10 split.

After years of neglect and harsh winters, parts of the roof collapsed onto the wooden lanes. The couple filled 17 Dumpsters with water-logged debris, gave the building a new lid, replaced all of the electrical wiring and plumbing and repaired the complex ball-return and pin set-up mechanisms.

They’ve also managed to salvage a lot of the furniture and fixtures that gives the facility a retro vibe. Black-and-white snapshots passed down to them by previous owners show that not much has changed.

Seattle-based photographer Kevin Hong recently included Carrick Classic Lanes in his photo documentary called The Vintage Alleys Project. Since 2012, he’s been traveling throughout North America taking pictures of small-town bowling centers. So far, he’s visited about 70 venues in 18 states and Canada. He’ll continue documenting the history of the sport until there are no more places left to go.

Technology is overtaking the industry, through the popularity of “glow” bowling, which relies on black lights, fog machines and music videos to attract younger clientele.

“I feel that recreational bowling today occurs in an environment very similar to a nightclub, with the lights turned down and the music played loud,” Hong said. “Modern bowling centers are trying to up the ante on atmosphere and the facility – to make them truly state-of-the-art.”

Carrick Classic Lanes, he said, has a historic feel and appeal that attracts traditional bowlers like himself; folks who don’t want to see strobe lights flashing while they’re attempting a strike.

“Carrick is a unique opportunity in that it has been closed for so many years, but everything is still there,” Hong said. “And Lisa and Jeff are probably the only people who have even come close to having an interest in reviving that place. There’s a lot of work to be done, and if Jeff and Lisa don’t do it, there will probably never be anyone who comes along wanting to do it as much as they do.”

The couple received contributions and business advice from bowling alleys across the country, including their regular haunt, Mars Lanes in Mars, where Jackson has bowled since he was a child.

It was Jackson’s late-father’s dream to own a bowling alley. He’s determined to make it a reality.

The couple’s Facebook page has nearly 500 followers since it launched last summer. In the meantime, they’re busy running Whovilles, Carrick’s go-to spot for hot wings and cold craft beers.

They hope to host “Kingpin” movie parties once they’re back in business.

“It’s going to take time for it to come together, but, when it does, it’s going to be a true family bowling experience,” Casen said. “I think that’s what this neighborhood needs.”

935140_web1_carricklanes7
Kristy Locklin | For the Tribune-Review
Inside the old Carrick Classic Lanes in March 2019. A couple is restoring the old bowling alley. Inside the old Carrick Classic Lanes in March 2019. A couple is restoring the old bowling alley.
935140_web1_carricklanes5
Kristy Locklin | For the Tribune-Review
Old bowling balls left by previous alley owners occupy nearly every corner of Carrick Classic Lanes.
935140_web1_carricklanes1
Lisa Casen inside Carrick Classic Lanes in March 2019. She and her husband are restoring the old bowling alley Kristy Locklin | For the Tribune-Review
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.