255-257 Commercial Street

255-257 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

255-257 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

255-257 Commercial Street, on the right (1913), from the Provincetown History Preservation Project.

255-257 Commercial Street, on the right (1913), from the Provincetown History Preservation Project.

Given its handsome neo-Classical-style details, its history and age, its complexity, and the relative lack of modern “improvements,” the former Post Office may be the most interesting commercial building downtown. Its significance is enhanced by the presence of a similar building at No. 251-253. Both are owned by the family of Sam Shalom and both “are excellent examples of early wharf head buildings,” Tom Boland wrote in the Provincetown Historic Survey. James E. Atkins’s furniture store was here, as was the studio of Walter Stiff, one of the town’s leading photographers in the early 20th century. The structure was badly damaged in a 1958 fire. The Cotton Gallery, a T-shirt store, is here now.


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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