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Historic Downtown Abilene

The downtown area is undergoing a renaissance with the steady growth of cultural, shopping, and dining attractions centered around historic Cypress Street, stretching from the Abilene Civic Center to the restored T&P Railroad Depot and the new Frontier Texas! venue, which houses a Visitor Information Center. Trolley buses provide free transportation to the downtown. Click hereto take a virtual walking tour of downtown.

The Paramount Theater on Cypress Street is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. This fully restored art deco movie theater features a ceiling with slow drifting clouds and twinkling stars on a blue sky, numerous archways, and a bell tower with twin domed turrets. The theater shows classic films on weekends and hosts art films, plays, and concerts throughout the year.

Two blocks down the street from the Paramount, and also on the National Register of Historic Places, is the Grace Cultural Center, a beautifully restored 1909 hotel. the Grace houses a history Museum, an art Museum and an interactive children’s Museum, as well as a permanent collection. Throughout the year, The Grace hosts special exhibits, classes, seminars, weddings and other special events.

The National Center for Children’s Illustrated Literature (NCCIL) is housed in the restored Rhodes Auto Building at North 1st and Cedar Streets. The only one of its kind in the nation, the center features art exhibits from children’s books. The NCCIL promotes educational programming by conducting docent-led school tours of featured exhibits.

In the area of the performing arts, Abilene has the variety you’d expect to see only in larger cities, including an opera company, a philharmonic orchestra, two community theater troupes, three university theaters, professional touring shows, and several dance studios. 



information courtesy of the City of Abilene


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