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Rustic 'storybook ranch' design defines Oklahoma City's Rollingwood neighborhood

Oklahoma City's Rollingwood neighborhood dates to early 1960s.
BY TIM FALL trfall@gmail.com Modified: August 15, 2013 at 12:23 pm •  Published: August 17, 2013
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Beverly Frantz has loved the Rollingwood neighborhood since long before she even lived there.

In the early 1960s, rearing a young family with her husband, Ronnie, she watched as the addition was platted and the distinctive “storybook ranch” homes for which Rollingwood is known began to blossom on lots.

New job assignments took the Frantz family away from Oklahoma City, however, and during the '60s they relocated several times.

But in 1972, they landed right back where they started. And Beverly Frantz knew just where she wanted her family to live.

“When we came back to Oklahoma City, I wanted a home in Rollingwood,” she recalled in the living room of the house her late husband bought on impulse “at midnight” as he drove through the neighborhood that had captured their hearts a decade earlier.

“When he came home and told me where it was, I knew I liked it,” she said.

One of the four Frantz children who moved into the Kingston Road home in the summer of '72 was Ron Frantz Jr., a rising ninth-grader.

Frantz said he discovered in the pages of The Daily Oklahoman a syndicated home design column written by Tishomingo native Hiawatha T. Estes, whose description of “Garden View” homes like his sparked in Frantz a fascination that grew into a career in architecture.

As the University of Oklahoma's Wick Cary Professor in the College of Architecture, Frantz said that he considers himself a “preservation architect” with a mission to “promote high-quality existing neighborhoods.”

Homes in Rollingwood are “filled with original materials” that are “too expensive or impossible to replicate” in new construction, Frantz said.

In homes like the “rustic ranch” or “storybook ranch” designs in Rollingwood, Belle Isle and The Village, “it's worth it to restore original features,” he said.

Frantz pointed out some of those features evident in his mother's home — including diamond-pane windows, exposed rafter tails, “used brick” as a main construction material, the combination of both vertical and horizontal siding, and low roof lines around much of the house.

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