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 on 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]

Fitness center

The property features a pool, fitness center, two sport courts, six elevators, and an industrial-styled cafeteria.


A picture of the Dobie Center.

The building was designed by J. & G. Daverman and Associates in 1972. Upon its completion, Dobie Center was the tallest building in Austin, surpassing the Texas State Capitol, which had held the title for nearly 90 years. Dobie was the first modernist building to exist on UT's campus.

The building underwent a US$10 million facelift in 1990 to replace its then brick façade by exposing the glass underneath.[2] When classes began in the Fall 1989 semester, would-be residents of Dobie Center were temporarily relocated to the Radisson Plaza Hotel.[3]

On November 11, 2006 a fire, started by an improperly extinguished cigarette,[4] 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 This structure was an old wooden deck that has been replaced by a concrete structure.

The Dobie Mall was completely remodeled by the Nix Group in the '90s and is now a hub of student activity and shopping [1]. The mall is a two-story shopping and food center featuring a food court, stores, and even a chapel. The food court today features seating for 500 and various assorted independently-run food outlets.

Dobie's Lobby

In 2014 the Dobie Center became managed by Campus Evolution Villages, marking the start of over $4 million in renovations, including new hardwood floors, a cafeteria face-lift, and an updated movie and game room. However, there was controversy during this time due to allegations made by many students that Campus Evolution Villages did not uphold their end of a bargain. [2].

Life at Dobie[edit]

The Dobie Center offers monthly resident events ranging from floor events to dorm-wide events. Annual traditions such as the volleyball tournaments and Casino Night are a huge draw for residents and Dobie alumni.

Additionally, The University of Texas's campus and covered parking garage are draws for students looking for convenience.

There are resident assistants on every floor at Dobie. International students have been known to reside there as well.

Due to the extremely high cost of other private dormitories such as the Callaway House and Castilian, Dobie Center has become the go to for value for college students.


A view of Dobie's pool

Michael Dell, who founded the company that would eventually become Dell, lived in room 2713 of Dobie Center.[5]

Ryan Cabrera filmed the music video for the song "On the Way Down" on top of the Dobie parking garage.{}

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

Musician Daniel Johnston worked at the McDonald's in Dobie Mall[6]

The Dobie Center is one of the only student high-rises with an unlimited meal plan.

The namesake of the Dobie Center, J. Frank Dobie, was an American folklorist, writer, and newspaper columnist.

Former 2016 Presidential Candidate and former Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush lived in the Dobie Center.[7]

Robert Rodriguez premiered El Mariachi on February 26, 1993 at Dobie Theater in Dobie Center. It is a Mexican-American contemporary western action film and the first installment in the saga that came to be known as Robert Rodriguez's Mexico Trilogy. He utilized dorm residents and University of Texas student volunteers to help pass out flyers and promote the premier. It marked the feature length debut of Rodriguez as writer and director. [8]

Stores and restaurants[edit]

Some of the stores and restaurants inside Dobie Center include:

  • Emiliano's Burrito Factory
  • Dobie Market
  • Princeton Review
  • Hoa Hoa
  • Niki's Pizza
  • Oma's Kitchen
  • ARMY Recruiting Office
  • NAVY Recruiting Office
  • MARINES Recruiting Office
  • Regus
  • Subway
  • Target
  • CVS
  • Starbucks


  1. ^ "About the Dobie Center". Dobie Center. Archived from the original on 2007-02-08. Retrieved 2006-11-10.
  2. ^ "Dobie Center to get $10 million face lift". The Daily Texan. January 11, 1989.
  3. ^ "Radisson to house some Dobie tenants". The Daily Texan. August 4, 1989.
  4. ^ "AFD finds Dobie fire started by cigarettes". The Daily Texan. 2006-11-16.[permanent dead link]
  5. ^ "Michael Dell's view from the top". Austin American-Statesman. 2004-05-02. Archived from the original on 2011-06-07.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "In Texas, a Focused Jeb Bush Stood Out From the Crowd". Austin American-Statesman. 2015-03-17.
  8. ^

External links[edit]

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