Former Colonial Cold Storage Company | Indigo Lounge | Jake’s Cape House
This is one of the two great vestiges of the cold storage plants, or “freezers,” that once lined the waterfront and gave it an industrial cast that is almost impossible to imagine today. The Ice House condominium at 501 Commercial Street recalls the massiveness of these places. The engine house of the Colonial Cold Storage Company plant, here at No. 229, shows that some freezer owners understood they were constructing de facto civic structures and so made them as attractive as big factories could be made. Colonial Cold Storage, in fact, has some of the finest neo-Classical detailing of any building in Provincetown. An inspection of its east facade is especially worthwhile.
In these giant plants, tons of freshly caught fish were frozen and stored before being transported to waiting markets. Josh and Ed Paine built the Colonial complex in 1915. After a couple of interim owners, it was acquired by the enormous Atlantic Coast Fisheries combine as the company’s beachhead in Provincetown. (Irving S. Rogers, “Puffs and Pot Shots,” The Advocate, 7 November 1940.) It was shut down in 1940.
The engine house is all that remains, but that’s more than can be said for the freezers at 55 Commercial Street, 125 Commercial Street, 133 Commercial Street, 183-185 Commercial Street, and 363-365 Commercial.
One of its subsequent incarnations was as the Treasure in Trash second-hand store. It is currently home to Indigo Lounge and Jake’s Cape House. This property lot includes the adjacent Little Store at No. 227, and has been owned since 1996 by Scott C. Ravelson.