571 Commercial Street

571 Commercial Street, Courtney Allen's model of Lewis's Wharf, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

571 Commercial Street, Courtney Allen’s model of Lewis’s Wharf, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

571 Commercial Street, bargeboard from 113 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

571 Commercial Street, bargeboard from 113 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

Lewis’s Wharf is long gone. But the nearby plaque tells why it was so important: in a makeshift theater here, in 1916, Bound East for Cardiff was first performed, launching Eugene O’Neill’s career. After the Provincetown Players left for Greenwich Village, Courtney Allen ran the Sixes and Sevens coffee shop on the pier. He also created the model pictured above. Mary Heaton Vorse owned both the pier and the upland Arequipa Cottage, which she sold in 1928 to Katharine “Katy” Smith. The next year, Smith married John Dos Passos. They spent time here until her death in 1947 in a car crash that cost “Dos” an eye. The public-relations impresario Benjamin Sonnenberg bought this home in 1954 as a birthday present for his wife, Hilda. The late artist Mary Kass owned it in recent years. The beach facade has bargeboards from the Delight Cottage Resort, 113 Commercial Street.


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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