38 Nelson Avenue

Hatty and Bill Fitts, by David W. Dunlap (2014).

Hatty and Bill Fitts, by David W. Dunlap (2014).

In the early 1970s, as the artist and carpenter Bill Fitts began building the home he shares with Harriet (Walker) “Hatty” Fitts (both pictured), he was approached by Conrad Malicoat. “He said, ‘I’d like to experiment on you,'” Bill told me. “I said, ‘Sure.'” The experiment — which became a Malicoat trademark — was a fireplace and chimney stack with brickwork laid in crazy-quilt courses, headers and stretchers breaking out of the flat plane; solid masonry made fluid. The post-and-beam ceiling in the first phase of the building was inspired by an English manor house of the 13th or 14th century. The second phase (late ’70s) was based on the Princessehof in Holland; the third (late ’80s) on the saltbox Hoxie House in Sandwich. In it, Malicoat built a Rumford fireplace. Hatty, whose parents were instrumental in founding the Fine Arts Work Center, is the current co-chairwoman of its board of trustees.

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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