Buddy Holly was born in Lubbock, Texas, in 1936, and by the 1950s, he was an instrumental and prominent figure in rock n’ roll. The Buddy Holly Center celebrates Buddy Holly’s life, from his hometown of Lubbock to international fame, with an extensive exhibit that attracts visitors from all over the world.
In the Buddy Holly Gallery, you’ll learn about the singer's childhood and his time in the band, Buddy and the Crickets. The gallery itself is shaped like a guitar and houses memorabilia like Holly’s Fender Stratocaster and his personal record collection. Such items were donated or loaned to the museum by members of the Holly family, the Buddy Holly Educational Foundation, and fans from around the world. Most poignant of all are his actual glasses, recovered from the site of his fatal air crash.
Music lovers will also discover displays about other Lubbock and West Texas musicians, as well as a Fine Arts Gallery Center that showcases contemporary visual arts exhibitions in 2500 sq ft of gallery space.
Special exhibits and performances can be experienced throughout the year at the Buddy Holly Center, like the Summer Showcase. This annual concert series offers live performances by various bands and musicians (usually from West Texas) to the public for free every Thursday evening from May to August. On Summer Showcase nights, both the Buddy Holly Gallery and Fine Arts Gallery are free to the public.
History of the Buddy Holly Center
The Buddy Holly Center is housed in what was once the Fort Worth and Denver South Plains Railway Depot. The Depot was built in 1928, but by the 1950s, it became a warehouse for various businesses before becoming a salvage yard. The Depot Restaurant took over the building in the 1970s, serving steaks in a white tablecloth dining room. In 1979, the building became Lubbock’s first Historic Landmark, and then in 1990, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Finally, in 1997, the City of Lubbock purchased the old depot and renovated it to become the Buddy Holly Center. Visitors to the center will be able to admire the restored architecture while delving into the history and culture of West Texas musicians, like Buddy Holly, in the galleries.
Tickets and info
Although admission to the Fine Arts Gallery is free, general admission tickets to the Buddy Holly Center cost $10.00. Discounts are available for people older than 60 years old, children between 7-17 years old, and students with college IDs. Children under 6, museum members, and active-duty military all receive free access.
The museum is closed on Mondays, holidays, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday. You can visit Sunday from 1-5 p.m. or Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tours are available upon request and can be scheduled by calling ahead.