509 Commercial Street

509 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

509 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

The picture framing business run by John Crave Jr. was closed with his death in 2010, but the bay window storefront was maintained by the family, as if the simpler-seeming past that it embodied could somehow be preserved. This noble old building is adorned with a quarterboard from the Pequod, suggesting that Ishmael might have spent his retirement years here. (He actually could have, since this building was standing in the 1850s, according to the Provincetown Historic Survey.) In the 1950s, this was the Knot Hole Shop, run by the carpenter Cliff Perry. It came into the hands of Crave and his wife, Jane (Austin) Crave in 1963. Crave was a founding member of the Provincetown Rescue Squad. After retiring from Cape & Vineyard Electric, he opened his framing business.


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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