In 2006, the architect Neal Kimball applied to the Historic District Commission, on behalf of the owners Mitchell Hollander and Robert Purinton, for permission to demolish an “existing, structurally compromised, one-story, non-conforming dwelling and construct a new two-story dwelling with similar design and slightly larger footprint.” The contrast between the two — and what each says about the changing face of Alden Street — could not be much greater. Like the adjacent parcel at No. 30, this property was owned for many years by members of the Lopes family; most recently Maurice H. Lopes (b ±1919). An electrician by trade, Lopes also seems to have been a restlessly inventive entrepreneur in the 1940s and ’50s.
Lopes tirelessly promoted the idea of building a roller-skating rink downtown and, much more remarkably, buying a camel that visitors could hire to take them out into the dunes on safari. Lacking the $1,200 purchase price for a new beast (Lopes wasn’t interested in a used camel), he persuaded Harry Kemp to approach the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company about some kind of promotional tie-in and sponsorship. “But Harry, unaccustomed to writing prose, didn’t get his idea across,” The Advocate reported on 2 June 1960, “and the Reynolds outfit replied that they were in the business of getting rid of Camels, not acquiring more.”
In the mid-1990s, this was the home of Peter E. Souza (b ±1940), an environmental activist who founded Earth First Provincetown and the Provincetown Environmental Action Corps and then served for a few tumultuous months as a selectman in 1995. (Hamilton Kahn, “Peter Souza Steps Down as Selectman,” The Banner, 11 January 1996.) • Historic District Survey • Assessor’s Online Database ¶ Posted 2012-10-28