Sophienburg Hill Historic District
By 1899, C.A. and Emma Jahn had accumulated multiple farm and town lots to form the Jahn Addition. On this plat, Hill Avenue became Grand Avenue. Several houses from this timeframe are of interest. The house at 548 Hill Avenue was designated a Registered Texas Historic Landmark in 2002 and a local landmark in 2003. It was built in 1905 as the retirement home of Friedrich Hofhein. He was a rancher, Grand Lodge President of the Texas Sons of Hermann, as well as Kendall County Justice of the Peace and County Commissioner.
According to Sanborn Fire Insurance maps, the majority of the houses along Academy Avenue and Hill Street were built before 1930. The Craftsman Bungalow Style was popular in the 1920s and two examples of that style are at 222 Academy and 230 Academy Avenue. By the 1930s, the Tudor Style was popular and two houses built by local builder C.R. Roesler can be seen at 285 Academy and 295 Academy Avenue.
The Sophienburg Hill Historic District was designated in May of 2009 and expanded in August of 2009.
Mill Street Historic District
West Mill Street represents both Town and Acre lots distributed and sold in 1845 by the Verein. Original Town Lots include 213 through 216 and Acre Lots 1, 2 and 168. The Ferguson and Hesler Firm purchased Acre Lot #2 from Charles Siebert on April 17, 1847. (Volume A, Page 28) then divided the property into 10 lots and added a road named “Ferguson Street”. This subdivision is representative of the rapid growth experienced by the City. By 1850 New Braunfels was the fourth largest town in Texas. Houses representing the “German Settlement Period” include the George Ullrich Haus at 528 W. Mill Street, the Habermann House at 543 W. Mill Street, the Geue-Milburn House at 554 W. Mill (RTHL) and the Geue House at 185 Ferguson Street. The district includes excellent local examples of the German-Texas Vernacular style, Craftsman bungalows, and several Victorian-era dwellings.
The district is home to the New Braunfels Academy, a local landmark and Registered Texas Historic Landmark. In 1858, New Braunfels’ citizens voted unanimously to impose a tax for the support of a public school eighteen years before such taxes were introduced by the State legislature. In 1884, the City purchased lots 213 and 214 for the use of schools. In January of 1913, the school board called a special meeting which they decided to build a new schoolhouse on the site of the existing New Braunfels Academy School, purchase the property behind lots 215 and 216 plus form an independent school district which would be separate from the city. June of that same year, San Antonio architecture firm CV Seutter & Shand were engaged for $500. Local contractor Adolph F Moeller had the lowest bid of $44,873 and took eleven months to construct with a cost overrun of $5,500. This is the “Academy” that stands today and is the anchor of the Mill Street historic district.
Downtown Historic District
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 patterns.
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.
For a map of the Downtown Historic District Boundaries, click here.
Stock Historic District
The smallest of the City's Historic Districts, the Stock Historic District, includes five properties along Coll Street Between Market and Seguin Avenues. The five lots were carved out of Original Town Lots #90 and #153. Early settler Carl Stock received Town Lot #90 in 1845. Records indicate that Carl Stock arrived in Texas as a Verein colonist along with his bride, Maria Heim. However, in truth the two were not yet married but presented themselves as such to be eligible for more land.
The Stocks built a single-room fachwerk house which still stands today at 195 Coll Street. Unfortunately, the entire Stock family died within three days of each other in May 1847 due to the Cholera Epidemic which claimed the lives of hundreds of immigrants. Over time Lot #90 was divided into three separate lots: 195 Coll Street, 177 Coll Street, and 163 Coll Street.
Other homes in this district include the 1905 Klenke-Altwein House at 163 Coll Street, a relocated Craftsman Style Bungalow at 289 Comal Avenue, and a circa 1905 Folk Victorian house at 177 Coll Street.