Greek Revival in style, with its second-story pilasters supporting a proudly monumental pediment, No. 290 certainly looks like something more than your ordinary retail building. (Never mind the current hot-pink paint job.) Indeed it was: the First National Bank of Provincetown. The original structure was constructed in 1854. Eugene O’Neill was among the bank’s customers. In 1921, the first floor of the structure was extended across the front lawn and up to the sidewalk line. The upper two floors were extended later. The bank remained here until 1950. John Edwards (pictured), who owns and lives in the building today, said the shopkeeper Abe James hung straw bags and other tourist bric-a-brac on the brick columns outside the store. Edwards opened Pier Cargo in 1971 and ran it for 31 years, until 2001, when he leased the retail space to Puzzle Me This.
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.