New Braunfels downtown was platted in 1845. The original town plan remains visible today and continues to affect architecture and land-use patterns. New Braunfels’ commercial and residential buildings in downtown may be understood and interpreted through their association with the context of the town’s development. The history of New Braunfels is rich, layered, and complex. HHM identified eight interrelated themes: German Settlement, Agricultural, Residential, Civic, Industrial and Commercial Development, Transportation, and Tourism. These themes are parallel and relate to each other by key dates and trends.
The Period of Significance is from 1845 to 1940. Resources exemplify a number of property types and architectural styles associated with the context of the development of New Braunfels. As a grouping, the resources illustrate New Braunfels’ evolution from a planned community of German immigrants to a thriving industrial and commercial center that took advantage of its location near water power from the Comal River, historic ground transportation routes such as the El Camino Real, and railroad transportation.