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Bowling center orders up a spare 2,300-lb. ball

A Lexington landmark found itself on the move last week.

No, we're not talking about the John C. Breckinridge statue or that flying horse thing.

The kitschy 2,300-pound bowling ball atop Collins Bowling Center on Southland Drive entered its final frame (canned laughter here).

The ball, constructed in 1960, caught fire last November when a spark from the old neon sign caused it to ignite.

A replacement, built to the same specs by Signs Now, will be installed in a few weeks.

A few fun facts about the bowler beacon:

■ The inside includes a ladder along with 50 to 60 fluorescent light bulbs. Its replacement will use energy-efficient LED lights.

■ The original B-O-W-L letters will be salvaged and possibly made into a sign behind the front desk.

■ It was designed, president Danny Collins said, by local architect Byron Romanowitz and won some awards for design in 1960.

■ Collins added it seemed weird to see the ball dangling in mid-air. "I wanted to say, 'Be careful with our ball!' It's like a member of the family," he said. "My 4-year-old son, John Daniel, said the ball looked like Humpty Dumpty."

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