Photographs of Wal-Lex Recreation Center, Waltham, Massachusetts
In March of 2002 the owner announced that he was negotiating to sell the
landmark bowling alley and recreation center.
Frederick Tortola Jr. stated that his family had considered selling the complex for years.
At it's peak a regional recreation haven, it was among the first alleys to feature automated lanes.
CVS is said to be interested in the site.
Click on any image to see a larger version
The Wal-Lex Recreation Center
celebrated it's 50th year in Waltham in the summer of 1997.
Wal-Lex Recreation Center home page.
Waltham Community home page
- 1946 - Frederick Tortola, John & George Rando, and Joe Russo begin construction
of a 20-lane bowling alley on an apple orchard on the Hardy Estate.
- 1947 - Wal-Lex Recreation Center opens on July 4.
- 1950 - Rollerskating rink opens.
- 1954 - 18-lane annex is added behind the main building.
- 1958 - The first weekly candlepin bowling show is broadcast on WCVB TV channel 5 on October 4.
- 1959 - A second story and 22 more lanes are added.
- 1960 - Second level, containing 22-lanes, is added to the main building.
- 1986 - Kiddieland ice cream stand and the miniature golf course replaced by Burger King.
- 1996 - The weekly bowling show is dropped after becoming the longest-running
locally produced sports program in the country.
- 1999 - CEO Frederick Tortola dies
Comments and suggestions welcome.
Send email to Scott Shurr at
Photographs Copyright 1997 and 2002 by Scott Shurr.
All rights reserved.
No photographs may be used without my permission. I charge
a fee for commercial use of photographs. Direct inquiries to me at
Waltham photographs directory
Created: June 11, 1997. Updated: 22 April 2003
...always under construction!