Location: 4616 Fifth Ave., on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Craig Street
Style(s) of housing: Apartments — one-bedroom (two students) and efficiency (two students); the Fairfax Annex has two-bedroom apartments (three students)
Size: 272 residents
Building retention: Yes
Kitchens: In each apartment and efficiency
Lounges: Community room in basement with limited availability
Other amenities: Laundry room and aerobics room in the basement, community room
The community in Fairfax Apartments is not as strong as the community in on-campus dorms like Morewood, because each floor is home to a mix of Carnegie Mellon and non-Carnegie Mellon residents. Despite this, Fairfax Apartments is the perfect transition for upperclassmen to living in off-campus housing. Once acquainted with back-alley shortcuts, it’s a quick 10- to 15-minute walk to campus, and the building’s proximity to Craig Street, which houses many restaurants that are open late at night, make it appealing to many college students.
Inside the individual apartments, every room is carpeted, except for the kitchen and bathroom, which have tiling. The walls, conveniently, are solid — a welcome change from the paper-thin dividers that separate rooms in some on-campus housing. Fairfax is also tucked away from loud traffic, although every now and then, a group of happy, shouting people may break the silence. The rooms are furnished and come prepared with beds, tables, and drawers, and the kitchen has a stove and refrigerator. Some units even have dishwashers. Air conditioning and heating are included as well.
Bus stops for the 500, 54C, 71 series, and 75 are also located basically right outside the building’s doors. Pittsburgh is on your doorstep if you live in Fairfax.
Laundry payment may be the largest problem students have with Fairfax. Doing laundry requires that students first buy a $5 card to pay for the machines. The card does not actually come with $5; students must put in money manually, and the machine accepts only bills. In addition, Fairfax’s Internet connection is not Carnegie Mellon Internet, but rather Comcast. Finally, the cost of living is one of the highest at Carnegie Mellon (starting at $7,370 for an efficiency apartment), but with all of Fairfax’s amenities and its prime location, it is understandably so.