Not for William F. Halsall would a chicken coop suffice as a studio. Halsall, an English marine painter of the old school, needed space to create vast canvases, the equivalent of Cinemascope in their day. So he set up shop around 1899 in what had been a shirt factory (pictured). This may have been the second factory on the site, since town records speak of an 1886 fire that destroyed the Puritan Shirt Factory. Halsall was followed by Ross Moffett, Charles Kaeselau, and Niles Spencer, a precisionist and modernist whose work is an appealing mix of Charles Sheeler and Stuart Davis. The factory also served in the ’30s as the Artists’ Lithograph Printing Studio.
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.