Dunewood Fire Island
Dunewood is a small, family-oriented community made up of about 100 homes with a “no shares allowed” policy. This sleepy beach town is preserved by its lack of restaurants, bars, and stores. The Dunewood Yacht Club offers swimming and sailing lessons and sponsors a well-known sailing regatta. It also offers excellent all-season tennis court facilities. With a strong homeowners association, Dunewood has bloomed into a beautifully maintained retreat for Fire Island visitors who prefer privacy to parties.
It is the youngest of all the Fire Island communities to be recognized in Fire Island National Seashore’s enacting legislation. Once dubbed “Levittown by the Sea,” Dunewood began as a fully planned community with 100 identical homes offered for sale in 1958 founded by business partners Maurice Barbash and Iwrin Chess. While taking a cue from the suburban developments sprouting up all over greater Long Island at the time, Barbash and Chess softened the harsh production line appearance identical floor plan housing units can have by instituting the practice of “sequential rotation.”
Today very few of the homes in this community still resemble the original Dunewood stock house, as homeowners have been creative with their renovations over the decades, as well as outright rebuilding of homes. With no commercial district, Dunewood depends on the neighboring Fire Island communities of Fair Harbor to the west and Ocean Beach to the east for restaurants and local services. Dunewood does have its own direct ferry line from Bay Shore, NY but also depends on the Fair Harbor line during the non-summer months.
The no-share by-law central to the Dunewood Homeowner’s Association has kept the bay and ocean beaches pristine in this community. Residents who live in Dunewood tend to stay on not for a matter of years, but decades giving the community both a strong sense of heritage and longevity.