Historic Sites of Downtown Abilene
Clickable MAP of these downtown historic sites
1. T & P Depot - 1101 N 1st St, One of Abilene's most outstanding landmarks, the T&P Railroad Station was built in 1910. The construction of the Depot resulted from the efforts of local civic leaders to promote Abilene. The last passenger train left the Depot in March 1967 with only 39 passengers aboard. Read more about the T&P's influence on the city at www.texaspacificrailway.org/history/abilenetx.html
2. REA Building - 1201 N 1st St, Built circa 1935
3. Boyd Building - 1292 N 1st St, Built circa 1925
4. The National Center for Children's Illustrated Literature - 102 Cedar, Built in 1935 Click here to visit the NCCIL's website.
5. Elks Building - 1174 N 1st St, The Elks Building was built in 1913 to house the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks. Lodge 562 existed from 1900 to 1937. The Lodge reorganized in 1955 and closed permanently in 1964. The building was used as a USO Club during WWII.
6. Grace Cultural Center - 102 Cypress, Originally constructed in 1909 by Colonel W. L. Beckman and named for his daughter, Grace. For many years it was Abilene's premier hotel and the first sight seen by railroad passengers as they approached the city. Click here to visit the Grace Museum website.
7. Abilene Reporter-News - 101 Cypress, The Abilene Reporter-News is Abilene's oldest business having been founded by Charles E. Gilbert in a tent in 1881 just a few months after the town started.
8. Compton Building - 158 Cypress, Built in 1923, the Compton Building housed a drug store and cleaners for many years. The second floor was used for medical offices. The building, after many years of standing vacant, was rehabilitated and opened as a restaurant in 1993.
9. Cypress Building - 174 Cypress, The original Windsor Hotel was built in 1890 and is the oldest commercial building in Abilene. It featured arched openings on the second and third floors and a 16-foot high balcony with ornate iron decoration.
10. Vera Minter Memorial Park - 2nd and Cypress, Minter Park is the site of one of Abilene's first businesses, Fulwiler's livery stable. The park, honoring Vera Hall Minter for her dedicated community work, was developed after a community fundraising effort.
11. Paxton Building - 202 Cypress, Built by George L. Paxton in 1923 and rented to Gambill Brothers for retail hardware store. Mr. Paxton's name was associated with many of the buildings that were constructed during this period.
12. Grissom Building - 220 Cypress, The Grissom Building was renovated in 1990 and now houses the Center for Contemporary Arts.
13. Grissom-Popular Building - 242 Cypress, The Grissom-Popular Building dates to 1925 and housed Grissom's Department Store from 1925-1939.
14. O'Kelley's Office Supply - 290 Cypress, Designed by David S. Castle and Co. and constructed in 1929, this building originally housed W. G. Waldrop & Co.'s furniture store. O'Kelley's has occupied the building since 1968.
15. Mims Building (United Centre) - 275 Cypress, Built in 1926 by W. G. Swenson, George Paxton, and H. O. Wooten and designed by David S. Castle. This eight-story building was one of two major office buildings constructed during the 1920s boom.
16. Wooten Hotel - 302 Cypress, The 16-story, 200 room hotel was constructed in 1930 by wholesale grocer W. O. Wooten. In 1963, the hotel was converted to apartments and the name was changed to Abilene Towers. The building was restored to its former grandeur in 2004.
17. Paramount Theatre - 352 Cypress, Another David S. Castle landmark, the Paramount Theatre opened May 19, 1930. The 3-story theatre features Spanish Colonial Revival features and is best known for the stars and clouds that move across its ceiling. Click here to visit the Paramount Theatre website.
18. Hilton Hotel (Windsor Hotel) - 401 Pine, Built in 1927 by the Abilene Hotel Company which was owned by most of Abilene's most prominent businessmen. The hotel was leased by Conrad Hilton and was the first hotel to bear his name.
19. Federal Building - 341 Pine, The original Federal Building was constructed in 1901 at this site. On September 27, 1927, Charles Lindbergh spoke to a crowd of thousands from a bandstand located on the grounds. The current structure was built in 1935 with additions made in the 1950s.
20. Minter Building (Under One Roof) - 244 Pine, Built in 1925 to house Minter's Dry Goods Store, Taylor County's first department store. The building is now occupied by a cooperative featuring arts and crafts.
21. McLemore Bass - 216 Pine, On the walls of McLemore-Bass today are reproductions of 1934 newspaper ads that announce the 29th anniversary of the business and grand opening of the store at this site. McLemore-Bass has been entered in the National Register of Historic Places.
22. Waldrop's Furniture - 201 Walnut, G. W. Waldrop moved his furniture business to this site in 1934. Waldrop's is the oldest family-owned business in Abilene.
23. Wooten Wholesale Grocer (Pfeifer Building) - 101 Walnut, This structure, built in 1906, served as the headquarters for H. O. Wooten's wholesale grocery business. The business, established in 1898, was one of Abilene's best known and most important. A fire destroyed much of the building in 1911 and was rebuilt the following year.
24. T&P Freight Warehouse - 901 N 1st St, Built in 1922
25. Alexander Building - 104 Pine, Construction on the Alexander Building began in 1925 and was completed in 1927. The seven-story structure was built for Dr. James M. Alexander, a prominent physician. Dr. Alexander practiced in Abilene for more than sixty years and built the Alexander Sanitarium, which was one of the first hospitals in West Texas. This building was the first "high-rise" in Abilene.
26. Everman Park - N 1st & Pine.
27. Frontier Texas! - 625 N 1st St.
28. 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum - 1289 North 2nd St, The 12th Armored Division Memorial Museum is located in what was known as the Lone Star Gas Company building, which the museum purchased in 1999. The museum tells the story of the 16,000 men and women who served in one of the most feared Armored Divisions in World War Two. There are all kind of artifacts, displays videos, and a Sherman M4 tank. You might even run into a veteran or two. There is a re-creation of a POW camp and an exhibit on the Holocaust.