47 Commercial Street

Labrador Landing Condominium

The Labrador Landing Condominium at 47 Commercial Street occupies a large 1835 structure that distinguished for its dimensions early on: it was the only two-story house on Long Point, where it belonged to John Williams. In 1947, Donald F. Witherstine opened the Shore Studio Gallery. It was one of the first and most important commercial galleries in town. “We could use the amazing Mr. Witherstine in 57th Street also,” Edward Alden Jewell wrote in The New York Times that year. “He is a force, a whiz, a conflagration.”

Witherstine had a studio here in the 30s, where he showed etchings, block prints and paintings. As director of the Art Association, he’d caused a sensation in 1945 by arranging for the sales of artwork there. Then he went off on his own. “Shore Studios isn’t really a gallery,” Jewell said. “There is no wall space at all, and pictures are just stacked around on the floor. This, of course, is no way really to show art, except to individual collectors and other prospective buyers. But the news today is that Mr. Witherstine, with his highly developed talent for picking the strongest talents and getting hold of their best work, has been selling at a phenomenal rate. Museums are among the buyers.” Witherstine died in 1961. The Boathouse Cottage, one of two offered by Labrador Landing, is the old gallery. (Could the freestanding belfry mentioned in 45 Commercial Street have been associated with Shore Studios instead?)

This was the property of Mrs. Margaret A. Williams at the turn of the 20th century, when it was denominated 18 Commercial Street.




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