69 Commercial Street

69 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2011).

69 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2011).

Alice Brock, by David W. Dunlap (2011).

Alice Brock, by David W. Dunlap (2011).

Anyone of a Certain Age will almost certainly share the author’s quiet pleasure in knowing that Alice (Pelkey) Brock, the Alice of Alice’s Restaurant, wound up practicing her delightful art in Provincetown. “There’s still the beautiful light, and there are still a few crackpots left,” she told The Boston Globe in 2008. “The only place I would want to go would be a place like this, and I’m here now.” Her father, Joseph Pelkey, made a name for himself locally working with Peter Hunt and managing the Christmas Tree Shop, behind which the family spent summers. She purchased No. 69 in 1983, inheriting the astonishing renovation by Adolphe Robicheau, a ballet dancer and instructor, who transformed it into a dramatic expression of Catholic piety, installing a pipe organ, altar, stations of the cross, baptismal font, prie-dieu, icons, and stained-glass window. She removed almost everything but the window.

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.

One thought on “69 Commercial Street

  1. I was a ballet student and instructor of Mr. Robicheau’s for most of mid 1960’s to early ‘70s. Adolphe was a dynamic and creative force who taught adult students in the first floor studio in his wonderful home at 54 Beacon Street and in Provincetown in the summer. His house at 69 Commercial St. was welcoming to his regular students who made the trek for a long weekend of Master Classes at the Town Hall and great fun in P’town. Adolphe was of Maritime Canadian Acadian heritage who was raised in Boston by a witty mother, of whom he would tell affectionate anecdotes. He was talented and danced in Europe during his early career and with a lovely partner for some time after that. I don’t know which house he acquired first but Mr. R told me that the Provincetown house was originally situated out on the sand bar facing the town. He bought it and had it transported by boat across to the town. He had a tiny “medieval” chapel in each house complete with stained glass windows and a prie dieu. The houses were filled with art and hand painted glassware created by his life partner. I have a lot of happy memories of time spent with Adolphe Robicheau and the people associated with his school.

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