496 Commercial Street

496 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

496 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

The nobility of this Federal-style house, set off in a generous yard, draws our eyes. What made it remarkable in the late 18th century was its full second story, under a hipped roof, which earned it the name “Captain’s House.” The single central chimney hints of its great age. In the late 1800s, it was the home of Henry Dyer, a seaman, and Susan Dyer. As the Dude Ranch nightclub in the 1930s, it employed a black orchestra, though more as a novelty than as a blow for social progress. Alice Douglas Kelly ran the Cape Cod School of Writing here in the 1940s. Thomas Fitzpatrick turned it into the Ancient Mariner restaurant in the ’50s. More recently, it belonged to Michael Tye, who was instrumental in founding the Harbor to the Bay AIDS Charity Bike Ride. He died in 2003, just before the inaugural ride.

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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