467 Commercial Street

Salt works reconstruction (Unfinished)

In a town full of architectural follies, it is folly itself to choose a favorite. But George Bryant’s abandoned salt works project of the 1970s surely ranks near the top for its scope and ambition, its persistence for more than 30 years and the fact that it hides in plain sight, just behind Angel Foods but probably unnoticed by 90 percent of the store’s patrons.

To appreciate the project fully, it helps to know that salt production was a keystone of the economy and central to Provincetown life. Clean, pure salt was needed to preserve cod and other freshly caught fish by drawing moisture out of the gutted, beheaded bodies. Before refrigeration, such rudimentary preservation was essential. Otherwise, there was no way to keep the fish for local consumption nor to ship it out to mainland markets. More pictures and history┬╗