LUBBOCK, Texas – On March 2, the City of Lubbock issued a demolition permit for the historic Godbold Cultural Center between 19th St. and University Ave. This came just days after City Council rejected the latest proposal to develop new student housing on the site after complaints from neighbors in Tech Terrace.
“I just don’t want the building to be destroyed,” said Darcey Achin, a previous resident of the building.
It was Achin’s godfather, Carlton M. Godbold who bought it in 1993.
“He wanted to give some culture to Lubbock, so we had different artists and musical events,” Achin said.
The property’s history began in 1937 when doctors opened Plains Hospital and Clinic which later became St. Mary’s hospital. It then became a hotel in the 1970s and home to the University City Club up until the late 1980s. Major renovations in the 1990s would turn it into a live music and event venue.
“I just got to grow up listening to some of the most beautiful music, eating great food, wonderful art shows,” Achin said. “There was a different art show there all the time.”
Achin attended Texas Tech University in 1996, and asked Carlton Godbold if she could work for him. Not only did she get the job, but she also lived inside.
“I worked every little job there from gardening to cleaning to dishes to serving,” Achin said. “I lived there and went to school. There was a little spot right in front of my room where I could sit on a windowsill and listen to the music.”
From Natalie Maines of The Chicks to the Godfather of West Texas Music Tommy Hancock, the Godbold hosted many famous live musicians.
Achin also remembers Ray Wylie Hubbard, Terri Hendrix, Mike Pritchard’s Blue Thunder and the Lightning Horns and Andy Wilkinson performing there.
Achin is heartbroken to lose this building filled with so much history in the Hub City.
“Don’t tear it down,” Achin said. “Nothing they build could be as cool or as beautiful.”
The City of Lubbock confirmed that the demolition permit covered the 1936 and 1940 additions of the building. The area where Café J is located is not up for demolition according to the city.
This demolition could start at any time. The demolition permit expires on Aug 29.