Most towns don’t have one octagonal building. Provincetown has at least three. The most amazing is the Octagon, an organic creation designed and built by Jonathan Sinaiko, who was inspired by Handmade Houses: A Guide to the Woodbutcher’s Art. Sinaiko, filmmaker and craftsman, is the son of the artists Suzanne and Avrom “Arlie” Sinaiko. In 1959, they acquired a “great lot” from the estate of Joseph Sears. It comfortably holds a compound called Hideaway Hill. One building housed Shore Galleries, descended from Donald Witherstine’s Shore Studio Gallery through his grandson, the photographer Fred Hemley. He, Sinaiko, and Muffin Ray opened the gallery in 2006, devoting it to local artists. It’s now closed.
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.