5 Winslow Street

5 Winslow Street, by David W. Dunlap.

5 Winslow Street, by David W. Dunlap.

No plaque says so, but this 1840s Greek Revival-style house is a cradle of the gay business establishment. A year or two after World War II, Peter Hand and Edward Damminger, who’d been visiting town as a couple since the early ’30s, opened the Five Winslow Street guest house for men, “a comfortable and safe space,” Karen Christel Krahulik wrote in Provincetown: From Pilgrim Landing to Gay Resort, adding that Hand “helped fashion Provincetown into a gay male resort.” In the first Provincetown Business Guild guide of 1979, its policy couldn’t have been clearer: “Serves gay men only.” The property was acquired by Howard Weiner in 1997 and renamed the Howards End Guest House. Weiner told me that a beam uncovered in 2009 indicated that the house, at its core, was a Long Point floater.

More than 2,000 buildings and vessels are searchable on buildingprovincetown.com. The Building Provincetown book is available for purchase ($20) at Town Hall, Office of the Town Clerk, 260 Commercial Street, Provincetown 02657.

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