561 Commercial Street

561 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2013).

561 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2013).

Michael Mazur, from Gail Mazur.

Michael Mazur, from Gail Mazur.

Gail Mazur, by David W. Dunlap.

Gail Mazur, by David W. Dunlap.

A romantic expression of its occupants’ callings, No. 561 has a writer’s cottage (for the poet Gail Mazur) tucked into the streetscape, and an artist’s studio (for the painter and printmaker Michael Mazur) thrust over the sea’s edge, face to face with nature. After nature got the upper hand one winter, Paul Bowen worked with the wreckage to create a sculpture on the rebuilt studio. The property was once home to Robert Ball, an artist and illustrator. The Mazurs bought it in 1989. Michael died in 2009. In the poem, “My Studio,” Gail described how integral home, studio, marriage, and work had been. It ends,

Without much to-do
I wrote three books. If we had regrets,
they were very few. Now I know
we were the paper, we were the glue.
I’m still at my desks, it’s all I can do
here by our little dream house at dusk
where the bay turns lavender, without you.


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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