Planned Downtown Lubbock Performing Arts Center to be Named for Buddy Holly

Maria Elena Holly, 78, said her husband was proud to tell people about his hometown of Lubbock.

So, it’s no surprise she was excited when a local organization announced Saturday at the Buddy Holly Center that another Lubbock building will be named after the legendary rock ’n roll musician who died in a plane crash in 1959.

Tim Collins, chairman of the board for the Lubbock Entertainment/Performing Arts Association, said the name of the future multimillion dollar performing arts center in downtown will be The Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences.

“For the people to put that kind of money towards a building named after Buddy, I’m sure that Buddy is looking down saying, ‘thank you,’” Maria Elena Holly said. “He would be proud.”

By March, the group had raised more than $47 million for the project, located at the property vacated by the Department of Public Safety branch at Mac Davis Lane and Avenue L.

Since then, Collins said they’ve started site cleanup of the property and hired two architectural firms — MWM Architecture and Parkhill, Smith and Cooper — who will collaborate on the project.

Collins said he’s received ideas from four prestigious firms who have built projects as far away as St. Petersburg, Russia. On Tuesday, the LEPAA board of directors will decide which of those firms will team up with local architects to design Lubbock’s next landmark.

“A project like this begins with a wish; it begins with a dream. We all have those types of dreams, big and small. But for a dream to come true, to come to fruition, it has to have a great purpose,” Collins said. “The bigger the dream, the more sincere and more honorable that purpose has to be. Our project can’t be just about raising money. To stand the test of time, to truly become a landmark, our project has to create a connection.”

By naming the venue after Buddy Holly, Collins said there will be a stronger connection between young and old, between downtown and the rest of Lubbock and between Lubbock and the rest of the South Plains.

“We pay tribute to a great artist whose talent has connected the entire world to Lubbock for over 60 years,” he said. “Mrs. Holly, I pledge to you by the use of the name, it’ll keep us honest — honest in our quest to bring great music and great performances to Lubbock and the South Plains.”

A LEPAA representative said the organization is flattered Holly made the trip from Dallas, where she lives, despite the Paul McCartney concert she was planning on attending being cancelled.

While there are museums and attractions honoring her late husband, Maria Elena knows the upcoming center will be another venue residents can attend to learn more about Holly and his legacy.

“A lot of people come here to the Buddy Holly Center and look around and they see Buddy’s things. That will be another place people will go,” she said. “It’s exciting to have this in the name of Buddy. … Things like this are good for Lubbock itself and for the people of Lubbock. Buddy was very proud. Everywhere he went, he said, ‘I’m from Lubbock,’ with such pride.”   •   766-2159   •   Follow Sarah on Twitter @SarahRafique