837 Commercial Street

137_06 Commercial 837-2

Top: Tides Model, 837 Commercial Street, from the Pilgrim Memorial and Provincetown Museum (top). Bottom, Bay Harbour, by David W. Dunlap (2010).

Top: Tides Model, 837 Commercial Street, from the Pilgrim Memorial and Provincetown Museum (top). Bottom, Bay Harbour, by David W. Dunlap (2010).

The Tides Motel was built in 1961 by Joseph and Cathryn (O’Neil) McCabe on the site of the Prescott Cottages, which they had owned since 1955. (The cottages were not demolished but moved to Schueler Boulevard.) The motel was affiliated with Quality Courts United and Best Western. It couldn’t have been starker: two long slabs on the shoreline. Just before closing the motel in 2005, William Gordon Jr. unveiled plans for a 10-unit subdivision called Bay Harbour, designed by Michael Winstanley Architects and Planners. While Bay Harbour opens some vistas that the Tides closed off, its scale is transformative. For instance, the garage for 5 Harbour Drive is about twice as large as almost any of the Ainsworth Cottages next door.


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.

One thought on “837 Commercial Street

  1. My original plans did not call for an unattached garage. The garage was part of the house design, legally obtained by a prior building inspector and suspended by a newly hired inspector from “over the bridge”.

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