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Texas Forts Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Abilene: The Grace Museum


Photo by Steve Butman Photography

Located in the heart of downtown Abilene, The Grace builds connections through new experiences in art, science and history within the evolving Texas story. Changing exhibits feature the best of Texas art, past and present, within the context of American art. The Children’s gallery offers hands–on learning activities. The Grace offers a variety of educational programs for all ages. In addition, this versatile facility can be rented for special events.

The building’s rooftop neon sign carries a colorful history: the original 1909 hotel that occupied this National Register building was briefly known as The Drake, allowing the budget-minded owner to replace only two letters on The Grace’s gigantic sign.
 


Location

  • 102 Cypress Street
  • Abilene, Texas
  • 79601

Contact

Hours & Fees

  • Tuesday - Saturday, 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
    Thursday, 5 - 8 p.m.

  • Adults: $6, Seniors (65+), Military Personnel (with ID), and Students (with ID): $3
    Museum members, Active Duty Military, and Children under 3: Free

    The Museum is open to the public for Free each Thursday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.


Map & Directions

The Grace Museum is easy to find, whether coming from Interstate 20 or Highway 83-84. Located at the corner of Cypress and North First Streets, The Grace Museum is in the heart of historic downtown and across the street from the restored Texas and Pacific Railroad Depot.
 


The Grace Museum maintains a unique position among West Texas attractions; it houses five art galleries displaying temporary exhibitions and works from its permanent art collection; a children's museum; and a history gallery with rotating exhibitions, a recreated boot shop and period rooms. Housed in a historically significant 102 year-old building, The Grace is recognized as an asset for its cultural heritage as well as its educational opportunities. Accredited by the American Association of Museums (AAM), The Grace conforms to the highest operational and professional standards.

The historic building that currently houses The Grace Museum was built in 1909 as the Grace Hotel, a large full service hotel and the finest located on the railroad line between Fort Worth and El Paso. The hotel was renamed The Drake in 1946 and flourished until the 1960s as downtown Abilene declined, and as passenger train travel greatly diminished. The hotel closed permanently in 1973. By the 1980s the building was in ruin; however, a group of ambitious and creative civic leaders envisioned the building as a downtown museum. Historic restoration architect Rick Weatherl researched and brought back the look of the building in 1935 and planned a state-of-the- art museum facility out of the ruins of the old hotel. The new museum called the Grace Cultural Center opened to the public on February 15, 1992.