In 1989, on the site of the Rogers home, an entity known as the Beks Limited Partnership undertook the development of a seven-unit condominium in two buildings, framing a kind of miniature town square that also doubled as the roof of a below-ground parking garage. The most prominent among the original trustees was Sandra S. Rich (b 1934), who also had an ownership interest in 174 Commercial Street, the White Wind Inn, which was the mailing address of Beks. She lived at the time on 12 Thistlemore Road, as did Tammis Day, the owner of a bronze mermaid statue that was intended to be installed on the grounds of the Beks development.
The other original trustees were Edward J. Brady and Kathryn A. Fiore. (I’m guessing [?] that Edward-Kathryn-Sandra yield the E-K-S in Beks, but I don’t know what the B stands for.) Limited partners included Kenneth C. Summerbell and Ernest A. Groom Jr. The site plan of the condominium was prepared by William N. Rogers, perhaps [?] the son of Chief William N. Rogers (1907-1963), who grew up on this property.
At 167 Commercial Street is the office of The Provincetown Banner, which was founded by Alix L. L. Ritchie in 1995, taking the name of the town’s first newspaper. For a few years, The Banner competed head-to-head with The Advocate, which had been founded in 1869, giving Provincetown the rather extraordinary distinction in this day and age of having two distinct, high-quality local newspapers. Such an arrangement couldn’t have lasted too long, however, and in 2000, the papers were merged under Ritchie’s ownership. Eight years later, The Banner itself was acquired, by GateHouse Media New England. Ritchie wrote this valedictory:
“Community journalism is not an occupation; it is a passion — a passion for the communities you serve. It weaves a fabric that brings a community together, providing the news that connects all who are or who want to be part of the community — wherever they are, giving advertisers the opportunity to reach their customers and providing community information. It pulls all those strands together in one place, knitting the community together.
“Community journalism used to be defined as a community newspaper, but now in the 21st century, it is a lot more than that. It’s new media; it’s daily; it’s inventive new ways to link news and reaction to the news, community needs, businesses and customers. It’s more complex, more challenging. And more needed!
“Here in this magical corner of the world, our communities — 50 miles out at sea, facing changing economic realities, working to rebuild their year-round sustainability — our very special communities so redolent of the arts and life wrested from the sea, of dunes and wind and dancing light, of the challenges of diversity, of legend and legends yet to come — our communities, at the edge, who understand what being on the edge means — deserve the very best that community journalism can give.
“It has been the great good fortune of The Provincetown Banner to serve these communities. And in looking to the future, we want to assure that we have the resources to continue to meet that challenge as professionally and as creatively as we can. Our communities deserve nothing less.”
Sharing the building at 167 Commercial Street is Ruby’s Fine Jewelry, owned by Ruby Druss and Mary DeRocco. In 1993, the Opera gallery was shown here, featuring work by Jonathan Blum and Jonathan Summit, as was the Sola Gallery II, directed by C. Barry Hills and Cristina Sola Hills.