Statement of Significance (as of designation - November 4, 1993):
As a rare surviving intact community, Roma's architectural fabric represents the evolution of a key town in the border region during the 19th century. Roma is the only intact U.S. settlement that derives from the mid-18th century colonization and town planning efforts of Jose de Escandon; the Escandon town planning, colonization, and land grant system are of key historic significance in the development of Spanish Empire and in the unfolding of the Mexican Northeast and the American Southwest, 1748-1835. Roma's buildings form a virtual "living catalog" of the different building technologies uses along hte lower Rio Grande in the 19th century. The brickwork of a number of residences and commercial structures in the district that were designed by Henrique Portscheller is strikingly elegant, featuring rounded corners and finely carved classical motifs.