3 Mozart Avenue

3 Mozart Avenue, Provincetown (ND). Courtesy of the Provincetown History Preservation Project.Built in the mid-19th century, according to the Historic District Survey, this was home as recently as the 1990s to Donald R. Edwards (b 1948) and Barbara K. Edwards (b 1946), and their son Donald R. Edwards (b 1970). Edwards had purchased the property in 1974 and sold it in 1985 to the abutting Roman Catholic Church of St. Peter the Apostle (technically, to the Bishop of Fall River), but remained as a tenant. After the church was destroyed by fire in 2005, parochial leaders and their architects used the unwelcome opportunity to plan a reorganization of the St. Peter campus.

The plan called for demolishing 3 Mozart Avenue. At a hearing before the Historic District Commission in 2006, Eric Dray urged that the structure not be torn down but relocated, saying that it retained a good deal of its historical integrity despite alterations and additions. Other speakers, however, described it as an “eyesore” and noted that it wasn’t associated with anyone famous. (Minutes of the meeting, 24 May 2006.) By a vote of 3 to 2, the commission authorized the demolition.

That was not the end of the story, however. “We convinced the church, who wanted to demolish it, to move it,” said John Dowd, the current chairman, who was serving on the commission at the time. The building was moved about 50 feet to the south and set down on the corner of Prince Street, where it now carries the address of 11 Prince.

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