Bartlett S. Dunbar, who grew up on Cape Cod, is presi- dent and founder of Bowens Wharf Company, the first historic urban waterfront rehabilitation in New England. The Bowens Wharf revitalization that began in 1969, two years after Bart arrived on Aquidneck Island, provided the catalyst for rebuild- ing the Newport waterfront. Bowens Wharf is a commercial complex of 44 marine businesses, shops, and restaurants in 18th, 19th, and 20th century buildings on Newport’s historic waterfront. The Wharf has been the site of various water-dependent enterprises from its origins in 1640 until the present day. Bowens Wharf was a bankrupted coal and oil yard when Bart Dunbar took it over in 1969 and turned it into the commercial center of the Newport waterfront. Currently Bowens Wharf pro- vides the water access for a com- mercial fishery business, one sail- ing and two power harbor tour businesses, the Jamestown- Newport ferry service, and “Save the Bay.” Bowens Wharf also pro- vides the only free public dinghy dock in Newport. Bart Dunbar is a founder and past president of Sail Newport, Rhode Islands premier public sailing facility; Commodore and past chairman of the American Sail Training Association; an incorporator and chairman of Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island; and a former member of the United States Coast Guard Sailing Advisory Council. He is also a member of the Cruising Club of America, the New York Yacht Club, Ida Lewis Yacht Club, the Irish Cruising Club, the Royal Cork Yacht Club, and the Tavern Club. Bart is currently chairman of the Newport Redevelopment Agency and is working on a plan to create a boaters’ visitor center and public transient dock on the Newport waterfront. He is chair- man of the non-profit corpora- tion Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island which built the sail- training vessel Ol~^^ver Hazard Perry. His mission and that of his splendid ship is to reinvigorate the Rhode Island secondary school system by providing stu- dents with much-needed experi- ential education. This historical reconstruction will serve as a symbol of Rhode Island’s mari- time past and its future. Bart Dunbar received his B.A. from Harvard University in Economics and attended gradu- ate studies in International Relations at American University in Washington, D.C. Prior to founding Bowen’s Wharf, he served nine years as an officer in the U.S. Navy. While in the Navy, he was involved in the formation of six navy sailing associations, ran the Navy’s basic seamanship program at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, and co-authored the Navy’s basic seamanship book, Sail and Power. Bart’s interests are urban waterfront renewal, sailing school experiential education, tall ships, ocean racing and voyaging, mari- time history, public access to the water, Newport history, historic preservation, and architecture. A philanthropist, Bart Dunbar sup- ports a number of public and pri- vate charities through his diverse company, Bowens Wharf. Brad and his wife, Lisa Lewis, their daughter, Maggie, and twin sons Nathaniel and Peter, live in a restored 18th Century Georgian home on Bridge Street in Newport. His eldest son, Emmett, is a development direc- tor for the City of Rockingham, Vermont, and his older daughter, Macey, is working on a develop- ment project in New Bedford, Massachusetts. Today Bart joins Commo- dore Oliver Hazard Perry as a member of the Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame!
Rhode Island Heritage Hall of Fame
1445 Wampanoag Trl # 201 Riverside, RI 02915-1019 | (401) 433-0044 | info@RIHeritageHallofFame.org