Dobie Center

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Dobie Center

Dobie Center, named after J. Frank Dobie, is a privately owned twenty-seven story residence hall located adjacent to the University of Texas at Austin campus. In addition to being a private residence for students, Dobie also contains a two-story mall, restaurants, and specialty stores.[1]


On its completion in 1972, Dobie Center became the tallest building in Austin, surpassing the Texas State Capitol, which had held the title for nearly 90 years. The building underwent a US$10 million facelift in 1990 to replace its then brick façade (which had been leaking around select windows) with a glass one.[2] During the replacement, bricks fell from the roof causing limited damage.[3] When classes began in the Fall 1989 semester would-be residents of Dobie Center were temporarily relocated to the Radisson Plaza Hotel.[4] Later that semester there was some suspicion that residents who had moved back in had subsequently been exposed to hexachlorobenzene - a toxic substance used in additives to strengthen mortar.[5]

On February 6, 1991, the company that owned Dobie Center filed for bankruptcy.[6]

On November 11, 2006 a fire, started by an improperly extinguished cigarette,[7] broke out on the pool deck of Dobie Center causing an estimated $600,000 worth of damage. The pool deck reopened in late April, 2008. The fire was contained to an area outside of the residential tower. This structure was an old wooden deck that has since been replaced by a concrete structure.

The Austin American-Statesman reported on September 1, 2010 that many residents were complaining that their rooms were too hot. Dobie management responded that this was a chronic problem and that the only remedy was for the outside air temperature to lower. Customers also complained of what many characterized as a "dankness" emanating from the double dorms.[1]

Dobie Mall used to contain a Burger King, Taco Bell, and McDonald's, but all have long since left. The food court today features a Subway and various assorted independently run food outlets.


Kerrville Bus Company operates bus services from Dobie Center to Houston.[8]


Michael Dell founded the company that would eventually become Dell lived in room 2713 of Dobie Center.[9]

Ryan Cabrera filmed the music video for the song "On the Way Down" on top of the Dobie parking garage.[citation needed]

Dobie Center was jokingly referred to as "Tel Aviv Tower" in the 1980s due to the large number of Jewish residents.[citation needed]

Filmmaker Wes Anderson worked at the Dobie Theatre.[citation needed]

Musician Daniel Johnston worked at the McDonald's in Dobie Mall[10]

Stores and restaurants[edit]

A list of some of the stores and restaurants inside Dobie Center:

  • Emiliano's Burrito Factory
  • Dobie Center Market
  • Gyro King
  • Hoa Hoa
  • Mane Express
  • Niki's Pizza
  • The ROCK Christian Books and Music
  • Oma's Kitchen
  • Resurrected Games
  • Subway
  • Verts Kebap


  1. ^ "About the Dobie Center". Dobie Center. Retrieved 2006-11-10. 
  2. ^ "Dobie Center to get $10 million face lift". The Daily Texan. January 11, 1989. 
  3. ^ "Mishaps mar Dobie construction". The Daily Texan. March 24, 1989. 
  4. ^ "Radisson to house some Dobie tenants". The Daily Texan. August 4, 1989. 
  5. ^ "Dobie accused of containing toxic chemical". The Daily Texan. October 17, 1989. 
  6. ^ "Dobie Ltd. partnership files for bankruptcy protection". The Daily Texan. February 6, 1991. 
  7. ^ "AFD finds Dobie fire started by cigarettes". The Daily Texan. 2006-11-16. 
  8. ^ "Dobie Mall Service." Kerrville Bus Company. Retrieved on May 16, 2010.
  9. ^ "Michael Dell's view from the top". Austin American-Statesman. 2004-05-02. 
  10. ^

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Texas Capitol
Tallest Building in Austin
Succeeded by
One American Center