The industrial era of the giant cold storage plants, or “freezers,” left two great vestiges: No. 501, now the Ice House condominium, and No. 229, the engine house of the Colonial Cold Storage Company plant, where tons of freshly caught fish were frozen and stored before being transported to waiting markets. Joshua and Ed Paine built the Colonial in 1915, evidently understanding that they were constructing a de facto civic institution. Colonial has some of the finest neo-Classical-style detailing of any commercial building in town. Even the facade along the alleyway (below) is noteworthy. The Colonial was acquired by Atlantic Coast Fisheries as the company’s beachhead in Provincetown and finally shut down in 1940. Later tenants have included the Treasure in Trash second-hand store, Lorraine’s restaurant, and Indigo Lounge-Jake’s Cape House.
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.