396 Commercial Street

396 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2012).

396 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2012).

One of the handsomest houses in town is this hipped-roof, Federal-style home from 1798, with its gorgeous Ionic portico, added around 1830. It was in the Cook and Small families, then in the Hall family from 1938 to 2007, when it was purchased by John Derian, a purveyor of découpage objects, textiles, furniture, rugs, art, and ephemera. His shop, in the back, is John Derian New England. This was sometimes called the Tory Chimney House, since its chimney was painted white with a band of black at the top, a signal that the owners were Loyalists. Preston Grant “Pat” Hall and Mary Cross (Maria da Cruz) Hall operated this as a guest house called Preston Hall. Across the street, they owned the Gift Box, Cinnamon Sands cottage, and Pat’s Happy Parking Lot. These passed to their daughter, Elena Curtis Hall.

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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