Most of the Oak Hills neighborhood was at one time part of a ranch belonging to the Frost banking family. Oak Hills is bounded by Fredericksburg Road, Babcock, Loop 410, and Callaghan Road, with the exception of a few additional blocks north of Callaghan which abut the Oak Hills Country Club golf course.
The winding street layout of Oak Hills is a radical departure from the traditional grid of older street car suburbs. Distances between houses are greater, lots are irregularly shaped, and there are no sidewalks. The design layout is the work of Hare and Hare, nationally known father and son landscape designers, whose specialty was long vistas and curving streets that rise and fall as if following a naturally rolling terrain. The many live oaks that were planted and the large linear park may be attributed to the younger Herbert Hare’s study under Frederick Law Olmsted Jr. at Harvard, although the senior Hare was known for his civic park and cemetery work prior to his son joining him.
Oak Hills has various examples of mid-twentieth century architecture styles. By far the most prevalent is the 1950s ranch house popularized by California designer and builder Cliff May, and featured in publications like Sunset Magazine. The tremendous popularity of the ranch house is often attributed to the interior plan which allows for the more informal, modern living style most Americans desired in the 1950s. Living and dining room areas flow into one another and kitchens are integrated into the family living space. A rear patio reached via sliding glass doors is a standard feature.
The ranch house is typically a long, one story structure with an attached garage, a low pitched roof, and a variety of window sizes and shapes. Chimneys and brick planters are frequent features. In contrast to older neighborhoods in which the homes were placed perpendicular to the street, ranch houses are often sited across the width of the lot emphasizing the horizontality of the design. There is a notable absence of the symmetry and elaboration of the main entrance found in much traditional architecture.
Not all of the homes in Oak Hills are ranch houses. An excellent neighborhood example of another mid-century modern design is the Crabb Nishimoto house with its dual sloping roofs, clerestory windows, and an open interior living space with rear walls of sliding glass doors.