2009-10 Photos - Away with the bowling alley

Perhaps the most highly visible project (at least to the many folks who've been to McMurdo since 1961) was the demolition of the old Quonset hut best known as the home of the only remaining bowling lanes in the world with manual pinspotter machines. Unfortunately, bowling lanes are heavy, and the weakened structure could not be repaired economically. Below, a few photos...

urban removal
Some of the demolition crew in front of the structure as work is underway (ME).
derelict junction
For comparison, here's my December 1972 view of the front of the building. The facility and bowling lanes were completed during the 1961 winter.
installing felt on the underside
Jump back to June 1961, as the bowling alley was being assembled. Here felt is being tacked to the underside of one of the lanes (the label on the back of the photo) (RW/BR).
assembling the gutters
Assembling the gutters (photo label) (BR).
first coat of varnish
Just after the first coat of varnish (photo label) (BR).
McMurdo bowling alley opening day
Opening day, 19 July 1961 (photo label). Yes, there was actually equipment sent for four lanes (??) (RW/BR/APL).
penguin bowling pins
A closeup of the stuffed penguin duck pins used for the opening ceremony (photo label) (RW/BR).
Jonathan pinsetting in 1983
A few years later, here's Jonathan Woodbury, a pinsetter during the 1983 winter. He got hit by a pin once or twice(JW).
McMurdo bowling alley in January 2006
Polies, on R&R, bowling

Above...two photos of what the bowling alley looked like in January 2006 when the w/o Polies were hitting the town for R&R. At left...a look at the lanes (CB) and at right...we have safety guy Bill McKee (left) and met person Don Jeter contemplating their scores (GW).

Emrys Hall in the pin setting booth
Emrys showing off the colored pins

And above...two more photos from when the 2007 Polies hit the place...and share some rare views of the pinsetter mechanism...and the pinsetter. Both of these feature Emrys Hall.(TE/EH).

Kris Perry setting pins
Another 2007 w/o Polie, Kris Perry, with that definitive haircut...(EH).
the bowling pins
...and here are the pins all set up (EH).

But...two years later, in January 2009 (?), this email went out to the McMurdo community:
bent beam in B-63

Effective immediately, B-063 housing the Bowling Alley - Weight Gym - Ceramics Room - Boulder Room and Craft Room is closed to all personnel. Do not enter the building for any reason. A cross member structural beam has suffered a failure that has resulted in the floor sagging approximately six inches [right]. All of the floor joists butt up and end on this one beam, causing overloading at this point. This is an extremely unsafe condition that warrants closing the building for all use by the community. There is a real risk that the second floor in the building could collapse onto the first floor. This will have a large impact on the community due to closing of a building that houses several recreational venues that are used extensively by the community. The weight room will no longer be open and all bowling will stop until the building can be inspected and repaired. Bowling leagues will no longer be allowed to use the bowling alley and the leagues will need to determine how they will end the current series without playing any further games. There is no estimated time frame for when the building might reopen. The closure is totally unavoidable and is for the safety of everyone on station. (TH)

Below...the deconstruction of the place.

raised floor
The removal work on the bowling lanes, Richard Dill is getting ready to cut the approach into 4 pieces. The pinsetter equipment was put in storage (ME).
keeping posted
Clearing out the first floor (ME).
cutting apart the top section
After everything upstairs was removed, the top part of the Quonset hut was cut apart (JA).
bowling alley demo
More of the structure comes down (JA).
not much left
Not much left...(ME)
just posts
Just the posts (ME).
blue panels
Supervisor (and photographer) Mike Ebel with some of the scrap siding panels (ME).
bowling lane wood stored at McM
The bowling lanes were stored for possible future use (?)...(JR).
the bowling alley pinsetters
...along with the pinsetters (JR).
another view of the bowling lane wood
Another view of the stacked-up bowling lane wood (JR).

Oh, James Roth (JR) took these photos of the stored bowling alley material in 2013-14, he couldn't find this stuff in 2014-15.

Other credits: JH: Joe Harrigan...JS/APL:Jeff Scaniello/Antarctic Photo library...ME: Mike Ebel...RW: Robert Woods...BR: Bruce Raymond...APL:Antarctic Photo library...CB: Craig Bell...GW: Greg Watson...TE/EH: photos of Emrys Hall taken by Terry Eddington--the right photo, as well as the two below it credited to EH, are courtesy of Emrys Hall, NOAA, Boulder, CO (Emrys Hall Album)...TH: Tom Hamann...JA: Jesse Alcorta...JW: Jonathan Woodbury.

Other things were happening at McMurdo...such as......


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