Unlike the earliest towns in America, Carlsbad did not casually form. It was not put together piece meal by individual settlers, but started with a plan. The Carlsbad Land and Water Company planned out downtown Carlsbad and encouraged people to settle and visit the town. The company created roads and lined them with trees. It even encouraged residents to take pride in their land by awarding land to residents with well kept gardens and landscaping.

Like other towns in Southern California, such as San Diego, Carlsbad advertised itself as a health resort town. It drew tourists and business people to the town with its "healing waters" and a Mineral Spa Hotel. The company even piped water to the railroad platform so tourists could sample the mineral water during their stopover.

Dolores Hayden, a professor at Yale University, believes that all people actively help to shape the towns and cities in which they live. Because of this she stresses the need to preserve urban landscaping. It tells the story of not just the founders of a city but the people who actively lived here before.

Carlsbad has a rich history which continues on today. Many of the original buildings still line the streets and are active businesses and residences. This is an excellent example of an open air museum that allows the individual to experience the history of Carlsbad. Carlsbad itself is a living museum. Through historic preservation, the history of Carlsbad will live on and be remembered by the historic buildings. The hope is that the city will continue to acknowledge its rich history through preservation which gives it the ability to shape our future.