Residents of The Dunbar Apartments in Harlem stroll through interior courtyards once
inhabited by scholar W.E.B. DuBois and North Pole explorer Matthew Henson. Named
after one of the first internationally acclaimed African-American poets, Paul Laurence
Dunbar, and listed on the National Register of Historic Place, it is a reminder of the best of
what has been and what can be.
Occupying an entire city block, this iconic 10-building community, ringed by an attention grabbing
interior garden, has been a neighborhood fixture since 1928. When Fairstead
acquired the community, it pledged to restore the property to its original splendor. The
ensuing renovation resulted in modern kitchens with stone countertops and subway-tile
backsplash, energy-efficient stainless steel appliances, and self-closing cabinetry. Energy efficient
upgrades extended to the boiler, pipe insulation, air sealing, in-unit LED and low-flow
fixtures, and solar PVO. Other highlights of the unit renovation: beautiful hardwood
floors, ample closet space, exposed brick walls, electronic thermostats, air conditioning,
and window coverings.
Meanwhile, Fairstead’s social services team works hard to support a range of residential
needs, including food security, internet access, healthcare management, employment
opportunities, and community-building events (from pumpkin decorating to jazz
concerts). When recent circumstances required more, the team partnered with local
community organizations to activate COVID testing and vaccination clinics.