246 Commercial Street

246 Commercial Street, Provincetown Bookshop, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

246 Commercial Street, Provincetown Bookshop, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

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

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

John Waters, by Sue Harrison.

John Waters, by Sue Harrison.

With independent booksellers imperiled, it’s a comfort in every way to walk into the Provincetown Bookshop, its congenially cramped quarters filled with smart selections. Capt. Philip Cook’s house was built around 1850. His granddaughter, Annie (Cook) Snow, sold it in 1939 to Paul Smith. He commissioned Brit Bolton to design an Art Moderne-style extension. Crisp as an ocean liner, with a big circular window, it was called the Port-Hole Building. Smith moved his bookshop here in 1940, when the Priscilla Alden Club Residence for Women opened upstairs. The store was taken over by the late Joel Newman and Elloyd Hanson. The artist Jane Kogan was employed here 40 years. John Waters worked here and remains a steady customer. The companion shop was Davy Jones’ Locker and, for more than 40 years, Galadriel’s Mirror, a jewelry store owned and run Bob Klein.


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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