625 Commercial Street

625 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2010).

625 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2010).

Roy Cohn in Provincetown? That right-wing power broker who held élite New York in thrall? That scourge of liberals and of openly gay men? Yes; the very one. And because this is Provincetown, the story only gets stranger. Cohn was a tenant in this converted boat house and garage of none other than Norman Mailer. Life here was scarcely an idyll for Cohn. By the time he moved in, or not long thereafter, he knew he had AIDS, though he maintained publicly and privately that it was liver cancer. After Cohn’s death in 1986, No. 625 was acquired as a condominium unit by his young companion, Peter Fraser. “It was Roy’s intent and wish that Peter have it,” Ed Gillis recalled. And he did, for two years. The building was renovated in 2010 by Tom Huth of Huth Architects in Newton.

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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