7 Captain Bertie’s Way

7 Captain Bertie's Way, Winslow Street Water Tanks, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

7 Captain Bertie’s Way, Winslow Street Water Tanks, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

That elephant in the living room that nobody talks about? It is Winslow Street Water Tank No. 2, the tallest thing in Provincetown, apart from the Monument. It plays a critical role in the town’s well-being, as a reservoir and gravity pump for the water system, providing the pressure needed to move water through the system. It keeps the skyline looking functional, rather than too quaintly picturesque. It’s also a reminder how precious water is, even when it surrounds a community. The first standpipe on this site stood until 1932. The second (later designated No. 1) was built in 1931 and demolished in 2011. It was 115 feet tall and held 1.1 million gallons. In the photo, it’s in the foreground. It was designed by Whitman & Howard of Boston, which also designed the 108-foot remaining tower (No. 2), built in 1977-1978 with a capacity of 3.8 million gallons.

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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