You could say that it was just a bowling center sign. But a forward-thinking developer in Newport Beach, Calif., understood that the “BOWL” sign that hovered over the long-closed Friendly Hills Bowl in Whittier, Calif., was more than that.
For long-time residents of Whittier and neighboring communities, Friendly Hills Bowl, like so many bowling centers of the 1960s through the 1990s, was a community meeting place. It was a place where couples socialized with other couples, birthdays and holidays were celebrated, and junior bowlers grew into adult bowlers.
The future of the bowling center building is as a retail development that will house an Aldi’s Food Market, a BevMo store and one other tenant to be announced. The BOWL sign will be refurbished to meet current standards, then stored until ready to be unveiled as part of the new development.
“We’re very happy that the important aspects of the Googie architecture and the bowling alley are going to be preserved,” Ted Snyder, president of the Whittier Conservancy, told the Whittier Daily News. “We look forward to when the sign goes back up.”