In November 1993, the 9-square block area around Roma Plaza was designated a National Historic Landmark District, the highest designation for historic properties in the U.S. Tracing its roots to the Spanish Colonial Colonists in the 1760's, Roma contains physical reminders of over two centuries of Texas/México borderlands heritage. Roma's early history is rooted in the Spanish colonial period. In 1746, José de Escandón received permission from the Spanish Crown to colonize Nuevo Santander, which extended from the Sierra Madre Oriental to the Gulf of México and
from the rainforest of Tamaulipas northward beyond the Rio Grande. By 1753,Escandón had founded the towns of Camargo, Reynosa, Revilla and Mier south of the Rio Grande and Dolores on the north bank. Followed by Laredo in 1755. The Roma National Historic Landmark District contains over 30 structures built before 1900. Each is a monument to the courageous, pioneering spirit of Spanish Colonial and Mexican settlers and the decades of subsequent prosperity as an important commercial center for this area of the Texas/México borderlands.