31 Conwell Street

31 Conwell Street, by David W. Dunlap (2014).

31 Conwell Street, by David W. Dunlap (2014).

Jeanne "Frenchie" Chanel, from Janice V. Walk.

Jeanne “Frenchie” Chanel, from Janice V. Walk.

This wonderfully odd house, and its little dependencies, have a dune shack quality. That’s as it should be, since this was the in-town home of a celebrated dune dweller: Jeanne “Frenchie” Chanel — chanteuse, naïf, “mystic, spiritualist, part bird, part creature of the unknown instincts man has lost,” as she was described by Josephine Del Deo in Compass Grass Anthology. Her daughter, Adrienne Schnell, bought this property in 1973. Chanel died in 1983. The house, Del Deo wrote, was a “holdout against the rigorous present, past, and future, and will probably never conform to anything that denies her individuality. Fortunately, local ordinances bent a little, like the road, when they came to ‘Frenchie’s Corner.’”


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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