Fairfax Place was founded by Melvin Sr. and Ethel Pye, who had a strong desire to fulfill what they saw as their responsibility as Christians to help others. Their commitment to serve is still the driving force behind the operation of Fairfax Place. Our family-owned and operated complex was incorporated in 1970 as Inner City Nursing Home, Inc. in Cleveland, Ohio. It initially was housed in the building known as Fairfax Manor, which was previously the home of Mt. Zion Congregational Church.
Mr. and Mrs. Pye already had established a history of entrepreneurial ventures and services in the community. In the early 1950s they opened a daycare, called the Pine Nursery School, for children in the Glenville neighborhood of Cleveland. Years later, several local African American professionals and business leaders acknowledged having learned important lessons on values at that school.
Among the couple’s other ventures were a neighborhood store, ice cream business, restaurant, and group homes for the mentally ill and juvenile delinquents.
The Pyes were active with such organizations as the Glenville Opportunity Center, Job Corps, Project Peace, East 109th Street Club, Women Speak Out for Peace and Justice, Phi Delta Kappa, National Council of Negro Women and The Boy Scouts.
Mrs. Pye was the first in the family and one of the first blacks in the State of Ohio to earn a nursing home administrator's license. Later, daughter Constance and son Melvin, Jr. each earned their nursing home administrator license.
The couple’s four children are graduates of the Cleveland public school system and went on to earn college degrees. Mrs. Pye was active with the PTA, and said her desire to help children and others get a good education was a factor in starting the day care and then the nursing home. When Fairfax Place was opened, members of the Pye Family were early staff members.
No one in the family was paid, but all were expected to perform some duties at the facility when they were not working at their “day” jobs. The couple’s commitment to volunteer service was just as strong, and that tradition continues to be upheld today by all of the Pye family members.
With help from a dedicated staff, Inner City Nursing Home evolved into Fairfax Place. In 1996, a modern state-of-the-art building was opened on the corner of East 90th Street and Cedar Avenue, adjacent to the original site of the complex. Additions and renovations have continued to be made over the years. In addition to its own progressive services, Fairfax Place provides cutting edge healthcare services to residents in partnership with area hospitals. Programming includes long-term care, skilled nursing services, hospice care, respite care, assisted living, financial counseling and the full spectrum of recreational activities.
This beautiful 100-bed facility is a true community focal point. As matriarch of the family, Mrs. Pye was proud to be able to allow street clubs and community groups to meet at the site. Original artwork by residents, a noted Northeast Ohio artist and an internationally known master decorate the halls of Fairfax Place.