Nestled in a quiet bend in the road off Churchill Drive in New Braunfels is a grouping of restored homes and business buildings moved from downtown New Braunfels and the greater Comal County area that make up Conservation Plaza, maintained by the New Braunfels Conservation Society and founded in 1964.

The 1960s brought a wave of changes and growth to the New Braunfels area. I-35 cut down along New Braunfels, which led to more modern building downtown, and Canyon Lake reservoir was dug beginning in 1958 and impounded with water in 1964, according to the Texas State Historical Association. That lake creation led to the removal of the rural communities of Cranes Mill and Hancock.

These events inspired the society to preserve and restore the old structures. New Braunfels was founded in 1845, and some of the buildings at Conservation Plaza date back to the 1850s.

“One by one [these buildings were] moved off, torn down to make way for commercial enterprise,” said Luke Speckman, president of the New Braunfels Conservation Society.

Speckman said the formative project of the group, prior to creating the plaza, was to restore the Ferdinand Lindheimer Haus on Comal Avenue above the banks of the Comal River where it still stands today.

“His great-granddaughter, I think, inherited the house, and she didn’t want it to be torn down, because it is on the river, and it would have been used for another McMansion,” he said. “No nonprofit was even formed at that time that was set up for that. So that was why we were created, to save Lindheimer’s house.”

In 1972, Bill and Nan Dillen donated the 3.5 acres that Conservation Plaza stands on today. Relocation and reassembly of historic homes and businesses began to roll in over the years through volunteer efforts and monetary donations, according to the Conservation Society’s records.

In 1975, the Church Hill School—which was erected in 1870 and a former campus of Comal ISD—was acquired by the society but was not moved as it is just across Churchill Drive from the plaza.

Several buildings along the main row in Conservation Plaza are nearly a mirror image of what South Seguin Avenue looked like, removed for Becker Motors—now Bluebonnet Chrysler Dodge—and the former Pizza Hut, said Martha Rehler, executive director of the Conservation Society.

Inside each building are historical artifacts with accompanying information on who resided in each building, when they or their family immigrated to Texas and from where, and what they did for a living. Examples of custom-made carpentry, sewing and masonry tools are on display.

Conservation Plaza is also home to one of the first cars purchased by New Braunfels residents—a 1907 REO—which was fully restored over a decade and is driven for special events.

Tours of Conservation Plaza are free with a suggested donation, and tours of the Lindheimer Haus are upon request as it is off-site. Wedding and event rental is also available.

Conservation Plaza

1300 Churchill Drive, New Braunfels


Hours: Tue.-Sat. 9:30 a.m.-noon, 1-3 p.m.;

closed Sun.-Mon.