July 02--The decision to name the new performing arts center after Buddy Holly was a defining moment for Lubbock and anyone who fondly remembers the rock 'n' roll legend.
Once completed, The Buddy Holly Hall of Performing Arts and Sciences forever will connect the musical pioneer to Lubbock, the city where he was born and raised and started his journey to worldwide fame.
Lubbock long has celebrated Holly's legacy, naming streets, schools and parks after him. There's even a Buddy Holly Center in the Depot Entertainment District, which traces his life and musical roots.
But it's been difficult to find a landmark way to honor him that would please the city, his family and his widow, Maria Elena.
The Lubbock Entertainment Performing Arts Association found the perfect idea amid its fundraising campaign to build the proposed $85 million center in downtown Lubbock, near the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center.
Instead of selling naming rights to the building, the decision was made to honor the most influential artist in Lubbock history, a performer who inspired musical superstars from the Beatles to Bruce Springsteen.
"It's important for us to recognize that Buddy's musical talents connect us to the rest of the world. And I do mean the world," said, Tim Collins, LEPAA chairman.
The group announced in March it had raised more than $45 million toward $85 million in construction costs. Donation of land from the city was contingent on LEPAA raising more than $45 million by 2017.
Cleanup on the former Department of Public Safety property on Mac Davis Lane started. Architects were hired, a joint effort from Lubbock firms MWM Architecture and Parkhill, Smith and Cooper.
The state-of-the-art facility began with a dream and wish it connect all of Lubbock to the arts and its deep artistic heritage. It will be more than a building. It will be the heartbeat of Lubbock's sound and soul.
"To stand the test of time, those dreams have to have a purpose," Collins said. "This project can't be just about raising funds and building a new building. To stand the test of time, to truly become a landmark, it has to create a connection."
The performing arts center will connect the older generation, which remembers and honors Holly, to a younger one, which is creating newer sounds just as Holly did 60 years ago at the peak of his career.
After Holly was killed in a plane crash Feb. 3, 1959, efforts were made to work on tributes with Maria Elena Holly. Some were successful; others were not. But she was thrilled with the new performing arts center, especially after hearing guarantees from proponents.
"Let me assure you that the use of Buddy's name on this building will keep us honest," Collins said. "Honest to our intent to bring great performances to everyone in Lubbock and the South Plains."
The words reflect a sincere commitment to honor Holly, whose hits songs such as "Peggy Sue," "That'll Be The Day" and "Oh, Boy" sound as good today as ever.
Our position: Lubbock's new performing arts center should be named for Buddy Holly. He's the best-known performer from Lubbock of all time. The decision honors his legacy and talent. And it forever ties Lubbock with the performer.
Why you should care: Buddy Holly's name brings Lubbock more recognition than any other. His music continues to be celebrated around the world.
For more information: Go to the Lubbock Entertainment Performing Arts Association's home page at http://lepaa.org/news/. For more on Buddy Holly, go to http://www.buddyhollyarchives.com/.
(c)2014 the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal (Lubbock, Texas)
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