This has long been the most conspicuous house along Cooks’ row and that was apparently just the object of the wife of Capt. Daniel Cook, who built it — over his other relatives’ objections — on a parcel that was barely large enough to contain its bulk. “This domineering lady insisted that she must be on the front street,” Mary Heaton Vorse wrote in Time and the Town. “She wished, she said, ‘to see the sun rise over the sea from the eastern chamber.'” Having alienated the seven other Cooks who lived nearby, the captain was supposed to have told his wife once construction was finished: “There. Now eat it! Ain’t nothin’ else to eat.” And there wasn’t even sunrise to be seen from the eastern chamber, as the story of 470 Commercial Street will reveal.
In the 1930s, this was the C. A. Higgins Rooming House.
The digital artist Jim Veach has owned the house since 1995. Veach is an associate professor and the chairman of the art department at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell. In town, he is represented by the Cortile Gallery.