18 Commercial Street

Red House

Red House, the plaque says – a bit needlessly, since the house is clearly that. A white-on-blue enamel plaque, designed by Claude Jensen, shows a Cape Cod house on a scow on the waves, with the narrow stretch of Long Point and its lighthouse in the distance. That indicates a house that was floated across the harbor from the antebellum settlement on the point. Once called the Gilbert Spencer cottage, 18 Commercial Street was built around 1830. It seems to have acquired its distinctive color in the 1930s, when it was acquired as an annex by the Red Inn, across the road at 15 Commercial Street, which used it to house workers and overflow guests. More history»

26 Commercial Street

Before it was floated over, the 1850s Frances Abbott Cottage stood at the western edge of Long Point. The fluted pilasters and entablature identify this house as vernacular Greek Revival. It was the home to the Joneses in the mid-20th century: Carolyn, who helped organize the Camp Fire Girls, and her daughter, Helen, who was active in the Nautilus Club.

31-41 Commercial Street

 
Masthead Resort

From 31 to 41 Commercial Street are seven buildings on 450 feet of beachfront, collectively the Masthead Resort, owned and operated since 1959 by John J. Ciluzzi Sr. (b 1923) What seems at first like a completely random group can actually be discerned as a symmetrical compound of three substantial houses at the ends and center — No. 31, the Old Furniture Shop; No. 37, a Long Point floater; and No. 41, the Helena Rubinstein summer home — with two cottages in each of the two interstices. More pictures and history»

34 Commercial Street

A meticulously cared-for house, 34 Commercial Street is part of the Long Point diaspora in the West End. It was constructed in about 1830 and was the residence of Joseph Emery, in the center of the original settlement out at the point. In the mid-1950s, Jane Harrison had a jewelry store here, selling enamel-on-copper earrings, bracelets, rings, pendants and pins.

43 Commercial Street

Dr. Don’s Landing

Dr. Don’s Landing, a condominium at 43 Commercial Street, occupies a building that once stood at the center of the Long Point settlement, where it was built around 1840 for the whaling captain John C. Weeks Sr., whose son lived at 42 Commercial Street. Harriet Weeks Spear was born here in 1851, when the house will still across the harbor. It was ferried over when Harriet was seven years old and she continued to live there well into her 80s, after completing a half century as a high school teacher. She married at the age of 70. More pictures and history»

45 Commercial Street

 
Jones Locker Condominium

For a period in the 1970s, when Provincetown was at its nonconformist zenith, a neo-Classical belfry, topped by a tapering cupola and whale windvane, stood outside (or very near) 45 Commercial Street. You can get a good glimpse of it inside the back cover of Provincetown Discovered (1986), by Edmund V. Gillon Jr. The remarkably out-of-place structure was also photographed in 1976 by Josephine Del Deo as part of the Massachusetts Historical Commission Inventory. Could it have been associated with the Shore Studio Gallery next door at 47 Commercial Street? I’m eager to learn more. More pictures and history»

46 Commercial Street

A full Cape with Victorian trim, 46 Commercial Street was originally the home of Richard Tarrant at the east end of Long Point. It was constructed in approximately 1820. The Rev. Frank Orr Johnson, the priest in charge of St. Mary of the Harbor in the late 1920s and early 30s, lived here. A hand-painted plaque, “La Mantia / La Velle,” refers to the owners, Raffaello LaMantia, an artist, and J. Edward LaVelle, who purchased the property in 1988. The couple had been together 53 years at the time of LaVelle’s death in 2013. ¶ Updated 2013-11-17