Arbor Hill is primarily a residential area, graced with several historic districts and outstanding architectural streetscapes in the Ten Broeck Triangle and along Lark Street and Clinton Avenue. The southern half of the neighborhood contains most of the historic heart of the area and is closest to the center of Albany. It was developed in the 19th and early 20th centuries, mostly with one to three family homes on urban (25-foot wide) lots.
The neighborhood north of Livingston Avenue is more like a new town. It was developed on larger land parcels created under an urban renewal plan of the 1960s. This area contains large, subsidized apartment complexes, new single-family homeownership developments, the Whitney Young Health Center (the neighborhood's largest employer) and Arbor Hill Elementary School. Almost half the neighborhood's population, and more than half the neighborhood's youth, live in this northern area.