411 Commercial Street

411 Commercial Street, from the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum.

411 Commercial Street, from the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum.

This large building has served as a lodging of one kind or another for more than a half century. Until the early 1960s, it was the Francis Guest House (pictured), owned by Joseph Francis, a retired fish buyer and World War I naval hero, and his wife, Irene Abbott Francis. By 1964, it was an efficiency apartment house called Avlon’s, owned by the artists Helen Daphnis-Avlon and Nassos Daphnis. Sheila LaMontagne and Madelyn Carney bought the property from the Daphnis couple in 1976. It was renamed the Mary Russell Guest House. Carney, an artist, bought out LaMontagne three years later. She has lived and worked here, as has her daughter, the artist Liz Carney.


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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