1 Commercial Street

1 Commercial Street, the Provincetown Inn (1930s), courtesy of the Provincetown Inn.

1 Commercial Street, the Provincetown Inn (1930s), courtesy of the Provincetown Inn.

The Provincetown Inn Waterfront Resort and Conference Center is so large that its parking lot could hold the Crown & Anchor, Boatslip and Land’s End Inn — combined. The developer was Joshua Paine, who built the Castle at 2 Commercial and the Cape Cod, Colonial, and Puritan cold storage plants. The original building, with its two-story atrium (pictured), opened in 1925. During the 1930s, it was briefly the Sippican Hotel. It was taken over in 1935 by the dynamic Chester Peck Jr., who enlarged the inn beyond recognition after World War II, when it was used as a Coast Guard training center. In 1946, Peck opened the 255-seat Breakwater Room, with murals by Charles Heinz. Then he had the audacity to propose a four-acre offshore landfill. Beginning in 1957, a new peninsula was created for a parking lot, a motel extension, a pool in the shape of a Pilgrim hat (pictured), and, in 1967, a recreation and entertainment pavilion designed by Burnett Vickers. (Grace Jones and Phyllis Diller performed there — not on the same bill — as did Wayland Flowers and his puppet Madame.)

Mural by Don Aikens (ca 1966), 1 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

Mural by Don Aikens (ca 1966), 1 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

Swimming pool (not yet cleaned for the summer), 1 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2010).

Swimming pool (not yet cleaned for the summer), 1 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2010).

A redecoration begun in 1966 yielded charming murals by Don Aikens, based on old postcards and vintage photos. The most ambitious suite, in the Tiffany Room, recreates the Long Point settlement. Aikens also created “three-dimensional murals” with elements like a sawed-apart boat hull (pictured) to give them actual depth. Peck sold the business in 1972 to a group of investors from whom Brooke Evans emerged as the owner in 1977. The pavilion was demolished in 1997. The Evans family still runs the inn. Evan, Brooke’s son, is the hotel manager and president of the Provincetown Inn Cooperative.


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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