Lubbock, Texas facts for kids
Quick facts for kids
|City of Lubbock|
Downtown Lubbock skyline
"The Giant Side of Texas"
Location in the state of Texas
|Incorporated||March 16, 1909|
|• City||123.6 sq mi (320.0 km2)|
|• Land||122.41 sq mi (317.04 km2)|
|• Water||1.14 sq mi (2.96 km2)|
|Elevation||3,256 ft (992.4 m)|
|• City||249,042 (83rd)|
|Time zone||UTC-6 (CST)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-5 (CDT)|
79401-79416, 79423, 79424, 79430, 79452, 79453, 79457, 79464, 79490, 79491, 79493, 79499
|GNIS feature ID||1374760|
Lubbock ( LUB-ək) is a city in and the county seat of Lubbock County, Texas, United States. The city is located in the northwestern part of the state, a region known historically and geographically as the Llano Estacado and ecologically is part of the southern end of the High Plains. According to a 2015 Census estimate, Lubbock had a population of 249,042, making it the 83rd most populous city in the United States of America and the 11th most populous city in the state of Texas. The city is the economic center of the Lubbock metropolitan area, which had an estimated 2015 population of 311,154.
Lubbock's nickname, "Hub City", derives from it being the economic, education, and health care hub of the multicounty region, north of the Permian Basin and south of the Texas Panhandle, commonly called the South Plains. The area is the largest contiguous cotton-growing region in the world and is heavily dependent on water drawn from the Ogallala Aquifer for irrigation. Lubbock was selected as the 12th best place to start a small business by CNNMoney.com. CNN mentioned the city's traditional business atmosphere: low rent for commercial space, central location, and cooperative city government. Lubbock is home to Texas Tech University, the sixth-largest college by enrollment in the state. Lubbock High School has been recognized for three consecutive years by Newsweek as one of the top high schools in the United States based in part on its international baccalaureate program.
- See also: Timeline of Lubbock, Texas
Lubbock County was founded in 1876. It was named after Thomas Saltus Lubbock, former Texas Ranger and brother of Francis R. Lubbock, governor of Texas during the Civil War. As early as 1884, a federal post office existed in Yellow House Canyon. A small town, known as Old Lubbock, Lubbock, or North Town, was established about three miles to the east. In 1890, the original Lubbock merged with Monterey, another small town south of the canyon. The new town adopted the Lubbock name. The merger included moving the original Lubbock's Nicolett Hotel across the canyon on rollers to the new townsite. Lubbock became the county seat in 1891, and was incorporated on March 16, 1909. In the same year, the first railroad train arrived.
Texas Technological College (now Texas Tech University) was founded in Lubbock in 1923. A separate university, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, opened as Texas Tech University School of Medicine in 1969. Both universities are now overseen by the Texas Tech University System, after it was established in 1996 and based in Lubbock. Lubbock Christian University, founded in 1957, and Sunset International Bible Institute, both affiliated with the Churches of Christ, have their main campuses in the city. South Plains College and Wayland Baptist University operate branch campuses in Lubbock.
At one time, Lubbock was home to Reese Air Force Base located 6 miles (10 kilometers) west of the city. The base's primary mission throughout its existence was pilot training. The base was closed 30 September 1997 after being selected for closure by the Base Realignment and Closure Commission in 1995 and is now a research and business park called Reese Technology Center.
The city is home to the Lubbock Lake Landmark, part of the Museum of Texas Tech University. The landmark is an archaeological and natural history preserve at the northern edge of the city. It shows evidence of almost 12,000 years of human occupation in the region. the National Ranching Heritage Center, also part of the Museum of Texas Tech University, houses historic ranch-related structures from the region.
In August 1951, a V-shaped formation of lights was seen over the city. The "Lubbock Lights" series of sightings received national publicity and is regarded as one of the first great UFO cases. The sightings were considered credible because they were witnessed by several respected science professors at Texas Technological College and were photographed by a Texas Tech student. The photographs were reprinted nationwide in newspapers and in Life magazine. Project Blue Book, the US Air Force's official investigation of the UFO mystery, concluded the photographs were not a hoax and showed genuine objects, but dismissed the UFOs as being either "night-flying moths" or a type of bird called a plover reflected in the nighttime glow of Lubbock's new street lights. However, other researchers have disputed these explanations, and for many, the "Lubbock Lights" remain a mystery.
In 1960, the Census Bureau reported Lubbock's population as 128,691 and area as 75.0 sq mi (194 km2).
On May 11, 1970, the Lubbock Tornado struck the city. Twenty-six people died, and damage was estimated at $125 million. The Metro Tower (NTS Building), then known as the Great Plains Life Building, at 274 ft (84 m) in height, is believed to have been the tallest building ever to survive a direct hit from an F5 tornado. Then Mayor Jim Granberry and the Lubbock City Council, which included Granberry's successor as mayor, Morris W. Turner, were charged with directing the rebuilding of downtown Lubbock in the aftermath of the storm.
In 2009, Lubbock celebrated its centennial. The historians Paul H. Carlson, Donald R. Abbe, and David J. Murrah co-authored Lubbock and the South Plains.
On August 12, 2008, the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce announced they would lead the effort to get enough signatures to have a vote on allowing county-wide packaged alcohol sales. The petition effort was successful and the question was put to the voters. On May 9, 2009, Proposition 1, which expanded the sale of packaged alcohol in Lubbock County, passed by a margin of nearly two to one, with 64.5% in favor. Proposition 2, which legalized the sale of mixed drinks in restaurants county-wide, passed with 69.5% in favor. On September 23, 2009, The Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission issued permits to more than 80 stores in Lubbock. Prior to May 9, 2009, Lubbock County allowed "package" sales of alcohol (sales of bottled liquor from liquor stores), but not "by the drink" sales, except at private establishments such as country clubs. Inside the city limits, the situation was reversed, with restaurants and bars able to serve alcohol, but liquor stores forbidden.
Lubbock is located at 33.566, −101.887. The official elevation is 3,256 ft (992 m) above sea level, but stated figures range from 3,195 to 3,281 ft (974 to 1,000 m). Lubbock is considered to be the center of the South Plains, and is situated north of the Permian Basin and south of the Texas Panhandle. According to the United States Census Bureau, as of 2010, the city has a total area of 123.55 sq mi (319.99 km2), of which, 122.41 sq mi (317.04 km2) of it (99.07%) is land and 1.14 sq mi (2.95 km2), or (0.93%), is covered by water.
The tallest buildings in Lubbock are listed below.
ft / m
|Floors (Stories)||Year Completed|
|1||NTS Tower||274 / 84||20||1955|
|2||Wells Fargo Building||209 / 64||15||1968|
|3||TTU Media and Communication Building||208 / 63||12||1969|
|4||Overton Hotel||165 / 50||15||2009|
|5||TTU Architecture Building||158 / 48||10||1971|
|6||Citizens Tower||153 / 46.5||11||1963|
|7||Park Tower||150 / 46||15||1968|
|–||Caprock Hilton Hotel (demolished)||144 / 44||12||1929|
|8||Lubbock County Office Building||143 / 44||12||1940|
|9||Pioneer Hotel||136 / 41.5||11||1926|
|10=||TTU Chitwood Hall||134 / 41||12||1967|
|10=||TTU Coleman Hall||134 / 41||12||1967|
|10=||TTU Weymouth Hall||134 / 41||12||1967|
|13||Lubbock National Bank Building||134 / 41||10||1979|
|14||Covenant Medical Center||114 / 34.5||10||1994|
|15||Mahon Federal Building & U.S. Courthouse||107 / 33||8||1971|
|16||Victory Tower||96 / 29||8||1999|
Lubbock has a mild, semiarid climate (Köppen climate classification BSk or BSh). On average, Lubbock receives 18.69 in (475 mm) of rain and 8.2 in (20.8 cm) of snow per year.
In 2013, Lubbock was named the "Toughest Weather City" in America the Weather Channel.
Summers are hot, with 78 days on average of 90 °F (32 °C)+ highs and 7.4 days of 100 °F (38 °C)+ highs, although due to the aridity and elevation, temperatures remain above 70 °F (21 °C) on only a few nights. Amarillo, Texas at 13.5 mph (21.7 km/h; 6.0 m/s), and Lubbock, Texas is the tenth-windiest city in the US at 12.4 mph (20.0 km/h; 5.5 m/s). The highest recorded temperature was 114 °F (46 °C) on June 27, 1994.
Winter days in Lubbock are typically sunny and relatively mild, but nights are cold, with temperatures usually dipping below freezing, and, as the city is located in USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 7, lows reaching 10 °F (−12 °C) occur on 2.5 nights. The lowest recorded temperature was −17 °F (−27 °C) on February 8, 1933.
|Climate data for Lubbock, Texas (1981–2010 normals)|
|Record high °F (°C)||87
|Average high °F (°C)||54.1
|Average low °F (°C)||26.4
|Record low °F (°C)||−16
|Precipitation inches (mm)||0.65
|Snowfall inches (cm)||2.6
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)||3.7||4.5||5.0||4.8||7.3||8.2||6.2||6.9||5.8||5.7||3.8||4.4||66.3|
|Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in)||1.9||1.4||0.8||0.2||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.0||0.1||0.6||1.8||6.8|
|Source: NOAA (extremes 1911–present, sun and relative humidity 1961–1990)|
As of the census of 2010, there were 229,573 people, 88,506 households, and 53,042 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,875.6 people per square mile (724.2/km2). There were 95,926 housing units at an average density of 783.7 per square mile (302.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 75.8% White, 8.6% African American, 0.7% Native American, 2.4% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 9.9% from other races, and 2.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 32.1% of the population.
Non-Hispanic Whites were 55.7% of the population in 2010, down from 77.2% in 1970.
There were 88,506 households out of which 31.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.9% were married couples living together, 14.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.1 were non-families. 28.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.09.
In the city the population was spread out with 23.5% under the age of 18, 18.9% from 18 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 10.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29.2 years. For every 100 females there were 96.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over there were 94.5 males.
In 2011 the estimated median income for a household in the city was $43,364, and for a family was $59,185. Male full-time workers had a median income of $40,445 versus $30,845 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,092. About 11.4% of families and 20.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 24.5% of those under age 18 and 7.3% of those age 65 or over.
As of the census of 2000, there were 199,564 people, 77,527 households, and 48,531 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,738.2 people per square mile (671.1/km2). There were 84,066 housing units at an average density of 732.2/sq mi (282.7/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 72.87% White, 8.66% African American, 0.56% Native American, 1.54% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 14.32% from other races, and 2.01% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 27.45% of the population.
There are 77,527 households out of which 30.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.6% were married couples living together, 12.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.4% were non-families. 28.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.07.
In the city the population was spread out with 24.9% under the age of 18, 17.9% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 18.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 30 years. For every 100 females there were 94.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.1 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $31,844, and the median income for a family was $41,418. Males had a median income of $30,222 versus $21,708 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,511. About 12.0% of families and 18.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.9% of those under age 18 and 10.1% of those age 65 or over.
Arts and culture
Annual cultural events
Every year on July 4, Lubbock hosts the 4th on Broadway event, an Independence Day festival. The event is free to the public, and is considered the largest free festival in Texas. The day's activities usually include a morning parade, a street fair along Broadway Avenue with food stalls and live bands, the Early Settlers' Luncheon, and an evening concert/fireworks program. Broadway Festivals Inc., the non-profit corporation which organizes the event, estimated a 2004 attendance of over 175,000 people. Additionally, the College Baseball Foundation holds events relating to its National College Baseball Hall of Fame during the 4th on Broadway event.
The National Cowboy Symposium and Celebration, an annual event celebrating the prototypical Old West cowboy, takes place in Lubbock. The event, held in September, features art, music, cowboy poetry, stories, and the presentation of scholarly papers on cowboy culture and the history of the American West. A chuckwagon cook-off and horse parade also take place during the event.
The west Texas arts scene have created a "West Texas Walk of Fame" located within Buddy and Maria Elena Holly Plaza in the historic Depot District which details musicians such as Buddy Holly who came from the local area. Lubbock continues to play host to rising and established alt-country acts at venues like the Cactus Theater and The Blue Light Live, both located on Buddy Holly Avenue. The spirit of Buddy Holly is preserved in the Buddy Holly Center in Lubbock's Depot District. The 2004 film Lubbock Lights showcased much of the music that is associated with the city of Lubbock.
Lubbock is the birthplace of rock and roll legend Buddy Holly and features a cultural center named for him. The city previously hosted an annual Buddy Holly Music Festival. The event was renamed Lubbock Music Festival after Holly's widow increased usage fees for his name. Similarly, the city renamed the Buddy Holly West Texas Walk of Fame to honor area musicians as the West Texas Hall of Fame. On January 26, 2009, the City of Lubbock agreed to pay Holly's widow $20,000 for the next 20 years to maintain the name of the Buddy Holly Center. Additionally, land near the center will be named the Buddy and Maria Holly Plaza. Holly's legacy is also remembered through the work of deejays, such as Jerry "Bo" Coleman, Bud Andrews, and Virgil Johnson on radio station KDAV.
Lubbock is also the birthplace of Morris Mac Davis (born January 21, 1942), also known as Mac Davis. Davis graduated at 16 from Lubbock High School and went on to become a country music singer, songwriter and actor, who has enjoyed much crossover success. His early work writing for Elvis Presley produced the hits "Memories", "In the Ghetto", and "A Little Less Conversation". A subsequent solo career in the 1970s produced hits, such as "Baby, Don't Get Hooked on Me" making him a well-known name in pop music. He also starred in his own variety show, a Broadway musical, and various films and TV shows.
Outsider musician and psychobilly pioneer The Legendary Stardust Cowboy was also born in Lubbock. He began his musical career there, playing free shows in various parking lots around town. Since striking it big, however, the Ledge has not performed in Lubbock, due to how little support and encouragement the city showed him when he was first starting out. John Denver got his start in Lubbock and as a freshman student at Texas Tech in 1966 could be found playing in the Student Union for free. His father was a Colonel in the Air Force stationed at Reese Air Force base west of the city.
The Lubbock Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1946 and performs at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center Theatre.
Lubbock's Memorial Civic Center hosts many events. Former Mayor Morris Turner (1931–2008), who served from 1972–1974, has been called the father of the Civic Center. Other past mayors include Jim Granberry and Roy Bass.
According to a study released by the nonpartisan Bay Area Center for Voting Research, Lubbock is the second-most conservative city in the United States among municipalities greater than 100,000 in population.
The National Ranching Heritage Center, a museum of ranching history, is located in Lubbock. It features a number of authentic early Texas ranch buildings, as well as a railroad depot and other historic buildings. An extensive collection of weapons is also on display. Jim Humphreys, late manager of the Pitchfork Ranch east of Lubbock, was a prominent board member of the center. The American Cowboy Culture Association, founded in 1989, is located in Lubbock; it co-hosts the annual National Cowboy Symposium and Celebration held annually from Thursday through Sunday after Labor Day.
The Southwest Collection, an archive of the history of the region and its surroundings which also works closely with the College Baseball Foundation, is located on the campus of Texas Tech University, as are the Moody Planetarium and the Museum of Texas Tech University.
The Depot District, an area of the city dedicated to music and nightlife located in the old railroad depot area, boasts a number of theatres, upscale restaurants, and cultural attractions. The Depot District is also home to several shops, pubs and nightclubs, a radio station, a magazine, a winery, a salon, and other establishments. Many of the buildings were remodeled from the original Fort Worth & Denver South Plains Railway Depot which originally stood on the site. The Buddy Holly Center, a museum highlighting the life and music of Buddy Holly, is also located in the Depot District, as is the restored community facility, the Cactus Theater.
Lubbock is also home to the Silent Wings Museum. Located on North I-27, Silent Wings features photographs and artifacts from World War II-era glider pilots.
The Science Spectrum is an interactive museum and IMAX Dome theatre with a special focus on children and youth.
National Register of Historic Places
- Cactus Theater
- Canyon Lakes Archaeological District
- Carlock Building
- Fort Worth and Denver South Plains Railway Depot
- Fred and Annie Snyder House
- Holden Properties Historic District
- Kress Building
- Lubbock High School
- Lubbock Lake Landmark
- Lubbock Post Office and Federal Building
- South Overton Residential Historic District
- Texas Technological College Dairy Barn
- Texas Technological College Historic District
- Tubbs-Carlisle House
- Warren and Myrta Bacon House
- William Curry Holden and Olive Price Holden House
Parks and recreation
In March 1877, during the Buffalo Hunters' War, the Battle of Yellow House Canyon took place at what is now the site of Mackenzie Park. Today, Mackenzie Park is home to Joyland Amusement Park, Prairie Dog Town, and both a disc golf and regular golf course. The park also holds the American Wind Power Center, which houses over 100 historic windmills on 28 acres (11 hectares). Two tributaries of the Brazos River wind through Mackenzie Park, which is collectively part of the rather extensive Lubbock Park system. These two streams, (Yellow House Draw and Blackwater Draw), converge in the golf course, forming the head of Yellow House Canyon, which carries the waters of the North Fork Double Mountain Fork Brazos River.
Current sister cities
Former sister cities
Proposed sister cities
Images for kids
Downtown Lubbock seen from I-27
Lubbock, Texas Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.