481 Commercial Street

481 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

481 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

Ad in The Advocate, 1959.

Ad in The Advocate, 1959.

You’d think many things about the spartan box at No. 481 before thinking, “This is a key landmark of the last golden age of the art colony and a vital outpost of the Abstract Expressionist movement.” But it was. Now the Chandler House Gallery, a condo, it was built 60 years ago, with a jalousie window wall, as a branch of Samuel Kootz’s Manhattan gallery. It was taken over in 1955 by Nathaniel Halper and John Murray Cuddihy, who called it the H-C Gallery, then HCE, a reference to initials found in Finnegans Wake that stand for several things, including “Here Comes Everybody.” Indeed: Helen Frankenthaler and Robert Motherwell (the Advocate ad announces their joint 1959 show), Hans Hofmann, Louise Nevelson, Claes Oldenburg, David Smith, Marsden Hartley, Fritz Bultman, Jack Tworkov, Leo Manso, Nassos Daphnis, Karl Knaths, Philip and Conrad Malicoat, and Anne Brigadier, who lived next door.


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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