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 weaving together themes associated with German settlement, agricultural development, industrial and commercial development, civic and community development and residential settlement patters.
The Period of Significance for the Downtown District 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.