The Oldest Shop, built in 1799 and razed in 1966, can be thought of as Provincetown’s Penn Station; its demolition helped galvanize landmarks preservation. “There are still more than a few to be saved though they are fast disappearing,” The Advocate warned at the time. Over the years, tenants included Harry Williard’s Shoe Hospital; The Advocate, beginning in 1941; and the Etcetera Shop, owned by Judith Tobey and Roslyn Garfield, which opened in 1955 and was renamed Shirts Etcetera. Kurt and Irma Ruckstuhl — who ran the Old Village Store, Emporium, and Corner Gift Shop — operated Candlemakers here. The replacement building is home to the Q Store and, until 2015, Wa, which had a sweet little garden of Asian art (pictured).
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.