14 Center Street

14 Center Street, by David W. Dunlap (2014).

14 Center Street, by David W. Dunlap (2014).

An old funeral home (pictured) is joined to a utilitarian annex on Bradford to form this odd but vital property, best known now as the home of Ruthie’s Boutique, a thrift shop whose benefactors include the AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod and Helping Our Women. Capt. Thomas Seabury Taylor, one of the last whaling masters, was a leading undertaker. His business, Taylor’s Chapel, was on Commercial, but he lived here. The house became the Williams Funeral Home and then, in 1952, a branch of Nickerson Funeral Service, which built an annex in 1958, with garage, preparation room, smoking room, and display area for funerary merchandise. The 1970s saw the arrival of Health Associates of Provincetown Inc. (HAPI) and the Women’s Health Clinic. Later came To the Lighthouse Press, WOMR-FM, and Provincetown Magazine. The HAPI Thrift Store, run by Ruthie Adler, was the forerunner of Ruthie’s.

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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