35 Bradford Street


Mussel Beach Health Club

This site has been hopping since 1938. For most of those years, it was home to Manuel Cabral’s Bonnie Doone Restaurant and Thistle Cocktail Lounge, a popular gay rendezvous in the 1950s. In 1958, Cabral tore down the neighboring Conant Street School, which had been used for about 25 years as the headquarters of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, to add parking spaces for the restaurant. Picture essay and more history »

130 Bradford Street

Gulf Oil Gas Station

The Bradford-Standish intersection is downtown Provincetown’s utilitarian heart: two service stations (with convenience stores attached) and a former garage and car dealership. Like many old Gulf installations, the Gulf Oil Gas Station at 130 Bradford Street has a Colonial Revival motif. Hubert and Laura Summers owned this property until 1958 and ran a popular restaurant, It’s Hubert’s, which also doubled as the Provincetown bus terminal. They sold the parcel to Gulf Oil. Marcey’s Service Station soon opened, under Edward “Marcey” Salvador, whose name is still commemorated in the oil company. Salvador sold the gas station to James J. Cordeiro, who turned it over to his son Neil Cordeiro to run. It was known then as Neil’s Gulf Service Station. Picture essay and more history »

132 Bradford Street


Duarte’s Mall

The Old Colony depot saw a second life as a bus station in the 1940s. In 1950, Joseph Duarte replaced it with a garage and service station for Duarte Motors, his Chevrolet and Oldsmobile dealership. (The rear of the building is a modestly handsome International-style pavilion.) More pictures and history»

136 Bradford Street

Provincetown Florist

This Second Empire-style house (c1870/1875) loomed large over the railyard. Menalkas Duncan, a prominent leather crafter (and Isadora Duncan’s nephew), bought it in 1955 and used it as the Duncan Sandal Shop. It’s since been an office, the Provincetown Fabric Shop, and a flower shop, which Maghi Geary and Laura Darsch acquired in 1988 and renamed Provincetown Florist. Picture essay and more history »

238 Bradford Street

Provincetown Theater

Against a tradition of impromptu theater spaces, a purpose-built playhouse opened in June 2004 in the reconstructed Provincetown Mechanics garage (formerly Cape End Motors). It is now the 130-to-145-seat Provincetown Theater. It was developed by the Provincetown Theater Foundation as a home for the Provincetown Theatre Company (founded 1963) and the Provincetown Repertory Theatre (founded 1995), and designed by Brown Lindquist Fenuccio & Raber of Yarmouthport. More pictures and history »

3 Carver Court

3 Carver Court, from the Assessor's Office (2013).

3 Carver Court, from the Assessor’s Office (2013).

Carver Court, a little midblock passage formerly known as Court Place, is very close to the Gifford House. In fact, the Gifford family was connected with this property until 1913, when it was acquired by Margaret J. Ramos, who owned it until 1929. She and her husband sold the house that year to Betty Lockett Spencer, the wife of the prominent precisionist painter Niles Spencer (1893-1952). To my eyes, anyway, Spencer’s enormously appealing work combines Stuart Davis’s joyful cubism with Charles Sheeler’s sharp focus on industrial landscapes. His rendition of the Unitarian-Universalist Meeting House is an enduringly fresh take on that beautiful — but clichéd — icon. Even more delightful a surprise is Spencer’s take on the scrolled bracket over a doorway. Both Universalist Church, Provincetown and Provincetown Corner are in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Spencer had a studio in the former shirt factory at 26 Court Street, but he was using this house in the 1930s and perhaps until the early ’40s, when he and Betty were divorced. His death merited an obituary in The New York Times.

By 1946, Betty’s new husband, Ernest L. Perry, a native of São Miguel in the Azores, had set up his public accountancy practice at 3 Carver Court, offering bookkeeping, auditing, and income tax preparation; as well as help with Social Security, withholding and unemployment claims. He died six months after Spencer, in November 1952. His business telephone number, 31, was perpetuated as her home phone number, 487-0031, after Provincetown switched to automated dialing.

In 1982, following Betty Perry’s death, the property passed to the couple’s two daughters, Doris and Muriel, and their husbands, Ralph J. Westnedge and Charles Veloza. Veloza’s estate sold 3 Carver Street in 2013 to Scott Watters and Richard D. Porreca, a residential and commercial construction project manager and an illustrator whose pen-and-ink line drawings of Provincetown architecture can seen on the Facebook page, Inked Well Illustrations.

Porreca told me in 2015 that he and Watters had found pieces of Spencer’s artwork in the attic of the home and, during a renovation, evidence that the house had been constructed on a foundation of ship’s masts.


Consult the documents or view the images

90 Commercial Street

Former Seamen’s Savings Bank

For the first three decades of its existence, from the 1830s through the 1860s, the building at 90 Commercial Street was the Union Exchange, serving the large and busy Union Wharf. It was purchased in 1868 by the Seamen’s Savings Bank, which was then across the road, at No. 99. The bank remained here until 1892, serving many Long Point transplants before moving to 276 Commercial Street. When the New York art dealer Harry Salpeter opened a gallery here in 1954, he was told by Frank Roza, then the owner of the building, that he’d discovered a small cache of Portuguese coins. Ten years later, Romanos Rizk applied to operate an art school here.

182 Commercial Street

Snip Salon | Ptown Massage + Bodywork

Just the shape of this building — never mind the retail overhaul of its front facade — should tip you off to its great age. A peek around the side, where there are half windows under the eaves, confirms the suspicion. The Historic District Survey places its construction roughly in 1830. F. Ronald Fowler (b 1946) — realist landscape painter, figurative artist, proprietor of the Fowler Gallery (formerly at 423 Commercial Street) and an illustrator of The New Joy of Gay Sex, lived here until recent years. More pictures and history»

219 Commercial Street

 
United States Post Office

Even more than the grocery stores (after all, some people shopped at the A & P while others shopped at the First National), the Post Office was Provincetown’s commons, its Rialto, its great public meeting ground. But it is not untarnished in civic memory. The Post Office was the site in 1949 of a dreadful tragedy, when the town’s well-respected postmaster, William H. Cabral (b ±1900) accidentally shot and killed James “Jimmy Peek” Souza (b ±1930), a rambunctious youth whom Cabral was merely trying to frighten with his Army revolver. The extent of Cabral’s moral liability was a subject that pitted citizens against one another bitterly. And even if those memories have now softened, the Post Office itself still bears a scar from the shooting. More pictures and history»

221-223 Commercial Street

 
Seamen’s Bank

How many Provincetown guides tell you to go into a bank? Well, please do go into this one. Seamen’s Bank is interwoven in town history, through its banking and lending policies, its corporators, and its philanthropic presence. None of that is especially evident when you step inside its modest headquarters. What is obvious, however, are paintings by some of the town’s leading artists, most of them related to fishing and the sea. Not all of it is first-rate, but even lesser works carry deep significance. The bank has, for instance, kept alive the memory of the three draggers that were lost at sea in recent decades — the Patricia Marie, Cap’n Bill, and Victory II — in paintings by J. Mendes. More pictures and history»

274-276 Commercial Street

 
Former Seamen’s Savings Bank | Cabot’s Candy | Shell Shop

Salt-water taffy and seashells. You can almost hear Patti Page singing Old Cape Cod. But this substantial commercial building was not constructed as the unofficial headquarters of long-ago summertime fantasy. It was built in 1892, in Queen Anne style, as the headquarters of the Seamen’s Savings Bank, which occupied the building until 1964, when the new — and still current — headquarters opened at 221-223 Commercial Street. The tenants here are Cabot’s Candy of Cape Cod, owned and run since 1969 by Giovanni “John” Cicero (b 1943), and the Shell Shop, owned and run by Cynthia “Cindi” Gast, which has been in business since 1974. More pictures and history»

290 Commercial Street

 
Former First National Bank of Provincetown | Puzzle Me This

With its second-story pilasters supporting a proudly monumental pediment, 290 Commercial Street certainly looks at first glance like something more than your ordinary retail building. (Never mind the current hot-pink paint job.) Indeed it was: the First National Bank of Provincetown. The original structure, whose extent can be discerned from the bracketed portion of the side eaves, was constructed in 1854. Eugene O’Neill was among the bank’s customers, and his signature card survives. In 1921, the first floor of the structure was extended across the front lawn and up to the sidewalk line. The upper two floors were extended later. The bank remained here until 1950, when it opened its new headquarters at 170 Commercial Street. More pictures and history»

307 Commercial Street

 
Provincetown Chamber of Commerce | Dolphin Fleet Whale Watch | Lopes Square Variety | Shell Designs | Atlantic Accents | Bay State Cruise Company

Fittingly, the Provincetown Chamber of Commerce is situated just about dead center at the commercial heart of Commercial Street: Lopes Square. It was constructed as the Board of Trade Building and originally stood ever so slightly offshore on pilings, reached by a short gangway. Because town criers have long had a formal or informal relation to the board or the chamber, I’m using this entry to briefly cover their history. (Kenneth Lonergan, the most recent town crier, is pictured here at the centenary of the Pilgrim Monument.) More pictures and history, plus the town criers»

329 Commercial Street

 
Arnold’s Bicycle Shop | Shirts ‘n’ Stuff

Arnold F. Dwyer (±1918-1998) was the namesake of this heritage business, founded in 1937 and at this location since 1938. Arnold’s was originally housed in what had been the Long Point school house and the Provincetown post office, but that large and notable structure was destroyed by an arsonist in 1949. It began as a radio and bicycle shop, then expanded into a houseware, appliance, bottled gas, home furnishing and real estate rental business, then contracted again to the bicycle trade. More pictures and history»

330 Commercial Street

 
Freeman Building | Provincetown Tourism Office | Provincetown Community Television (PTV)

Prudent Provincetown. Why have three buildings for three functions? In 1873, as a gift to the town, Nathan Freeman built a mansard-topped structure that housed the Public Library on the first floor, a Y.M.C.A. on the second floor and a photo studio on the third. More pictures and history»

334 Commercial Street

Purple Feather Café and Treatery

Hong Ting Wong (b ±1898) stands out among the most interesting of that wonderful local species, the artist-restaurateur. He studied under Charles W. Hawthorne and was said to have been a promising pupil. Though life took him in another direction, he was still showing his paintings in his first restaurant, the Cape Cod Tea Garden, at 327 Commercial. His second restaurant, Wong’s Cozy Den Coffee Shop, was at 347 Commercial. On returning from World War II, he opened his chef-d’oeuvre, Wong’s Restaurant. More pictures and history»

509 Commercial Street

Former Crave’s Frames

The picture framing business run by John F. Crave Jr. (1926-2010) was closed with his death, but the bay window storefront has been maintained by the family, as if the simpler-seeming Provincetown past that it embodies so poignantly could somehow be recaptured by just walking through the door. This noble old building is also adorned with a quarterboard from the Pequod, suggesting that Ishmael may have spent some of his retirement years here. (He actually could have, since this building was standing in the 1850s, according to the Historic District Survey, probably in use as a fish storage house.) More pictures and history»

654-656 Commercial Street

 
Rego Automotive Service and Repairs

With the possible exception of Manhattan Island, there may be no settlement in America more inimical to the automobile than Provincetown. (And if you think that’s an exaggeration, just try driving along Commercial Street on a Friday or Saturday evening in summer. Drop me a line if you ever get to the West End.) So how are we to interpret the seemingly paradoxical fact that at the gateway formed by Commercial and Bradford Streets, visitors have long been greeted by an automotive service center? Just another bit of Provincetown whimsy? Or a warning to motorists: “Abdandon all hope, ye who enter”? More pictures and history»

21 Conwell Street

 
Conwell Hardware and Lumber

As long as you don’t think history has to be quaint, you can appreciate why Conwell Lumber is actually a very historical property, indeed. Its nature, size, evolution, layout and orientation recall the period from the 1870s through the 1950s when Provincetown received its freight by railroad from up-Cape, Boston and beyond. This site is integrally related to the development and decline of railroading in coastal Massachusetts, from the early Cape Cod Central Railroad to the Old Colony Railroad to the Old Colony Division of the New York, New Haven & Hartford. It has also been providing the town with lumber, hardware and other construction and household essentials since 1945, first as the Higgins Lumber Company — which grew up on the waterfront in the days of lumber schooners — and then as the Craig Lumber Company. But first: about that gentleman in the photograph. More pictures and history»

19 Court Street

 
Michael Perry Massage

Standing near the top of Pumpkin Hollow, 19 Court Street has a commanding presence. It was constructed around 1850. Joseph Enos, a grocer, owned the house in the early 20th century. Natalie G. Patrick (b ±1909) and her husband, William (b ±1896), bought the property from Teresa M. and Anthony J. Alves in 1945, shortly after the end of World War II. Natalie Patrick was appointed assistant librarian of Provincetown in 1957 and then the town’s chief librarian in 1966, succeeding Marion B. Haymaker. Besides running the Public Library, 330 Commercial Street, Patrick also wrote a weekly column, “At the Library,” in The Advocate. More pictures and history»

43 Court Street

43 Court Street, Provincetown (2011), by David W. Dunlap. 
43 Court Street, Provincetown (2011), by David W. Dunlap.Cape Cod Excavating

I don’t know that I’d want to live next to Cape Cod Excavating (actually, its owners have rendered the point moot by doing so themselves), but I do know that its presence in the heart of town — a living reminder of the industrial past — is one of the last remaining bulwarks against the complete cute-ification of Provincetown. According to a capsule history on the company’s Web site, the business was established by James M. Silva in the 1930s. In 1958 alone, it handled the excavation for the new A&P supermarket on Conwell Street and then for the new Chrysler Museum. James’s son, Warren, went into the excavation contracting business for himself in 1953. In 1985, he incorporated as Cape Cod Excavating. Eight years later, his son James W. Silva joined the company, which he now runs. The company was heavily involved in the reconstruction of St. Peter’s Church. • Assessor’s Online Database ¶ Posted 2012-12-02

45A Court Street

45A Court Street, Provincetown (2009), by David W. Dunlap. 
Christopher King, Provincetown (2011), by David W. Dunlap.Cape Tip Seafoods

If only one Provincetown fisherman were to remain standing after the seemingly endless evisceration of the fleet, a lot of smart money at MacMillan Pier would probably be wagered on Christopher “Chris” King (b 1961), pictured at left, whose family has been in the business for four generations — and has paid the highest price for it. King owns a stake in just about every aspect of catching, distributing and marketing. He and his brother Willis (b 1974) fish on their own account aboard the 60½-foot Donna Marie, built in 1969 and rehabilitated in 2009 with a 400-horsepower Caterpillar 3408 marine engine. Through Cape Tip Seafoods, they truck fish from about 30 other Provincetown, Truro and Wellfleet boats to restaurants along the Cape and to regional distributors in Boston. And they operate their own retail outlet, the Cape Tip Seafood Market, in Truro. In a 2011 dockside interview, King told me that he employed about 25 people. More pictures and history»

12 Cudworth Street

12 Cudworth Street, Provincetown (2008), by David W. Dunlap.Desmond & Associates

Built on the site of the Grey Schoolhouse (perhaps even incorporating some of it?) this home was constructed between 1850 and 1880. It was purchased in 1985 by Ralph E. Desmond (b 1951) from Rudolph J. Santos (b 1927), a fleet mechanic, who’d lived here with his wife, Ruth V. Santos (b 1926). Desmond — educated at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Syracuse University — runs an information technology consulting business out of 12 Cudworth that he established in Boston in 1981. • Historic District SurveyAssessor’s Online Database ¶ Posted 2012-12-11

37 Franklin Street

37 Franklin Street, Provincetown (2009), by David W. Dunlap. 
37 Franklin Street, Provincetown (2012), by David W. Dunlap.Marcey Oil Company

Edward “Marcey” Salvador (1914-1994), who had worked for the DeRiggs Ice Company at 194 Bradford Street, established his own ice and oil business in 1937. Both he and his older brother, Christopher J. Salvador (b ±1913), were known as “Marcey.” Edward’s daughter, Nancy L. Stefani, told me in a 2009 interview that Marcey is a Portuguese diminutive that might roughly be translated as “strong boy.” Indeed, she said, her father was known for being able to lift a 50-gallon oil drum. His wife, Priscilla (Steele) Salvador (±1913-2001), was the co-owner and office manager of the oil company, whose headquarters were — and still are — at 37 Franklin, adjoining/within [?] the Salvadors’ home. More pictures and history»

3 Freeman Street

3 Freeman Street, Provincetown (2011), by David W. Dunlap.Freeman Gardens Condominium | Hannah’s Headlines | Provincetown Business Guild

The triple-decker, clapboard-sided porches appended to this house might charitably be described as giving the structure something of the appearance of an ocean liner, or less charitably as looking like gun ports in a vertical bunker. Hannah’s Headlines, a salon established in 1986 [?] and run by Hannah McCormick and Sandra Alsante, occupies space on the ground floor. More history»

2 Harry Kemp Way

1 Harry Kemp Way, Provincetown (2008), by David W. Dunlap.John E. Medeiros, Certified Public Accountant | Karen R. DePalma, Attorney at Law

Karen R. DePalma (b 1947), whose specialties include real estate and business law, opened her Provincetown practice in 1980. Her associates in the office are Kelly Williams, a closing specialist, and Lynne Tudor, a legal assistant. John E. Medeiros (b 1951) specializes in public accounting, tax planning, management advisory services, personal and corporate tax preparation. He and DePalma own condominium interests in this property. • Assessor’s Online Database, Unit 1 • Assessor’s Online Database, Unit 2 ¶ Posted 2013-01-20

30 Harry Kemp Way

30 Harry Kemp Way, Provincetown (2009), by David W. Dunlap. 
30 Harry Kemp Way, Provincetown (2011), by David W. Dunlap.Cape Cod Refrigeration | Lower Cape Ice

Admittedly, my enthusiasm for vernacular architecture can get the better of me, but I love the ice storage building of Lower Cape Ice. Its sleek lines and acute angles remind me of nothing so much as a composition out of Ed Ruscha’s Standard series. The refrigeration and air-conditioning company was founded by Shane R. Burhoe in 1996. More pictures and history»

49 Harry Kemp Way

49 Harry Kemp Way, Provincetown (2008), by David W. Dunlap. 
Outer Cape Health Services Provincetown Health Center

When the nearest hospital is one hour away, a primary- and urgent-care facility like the Provincetown Health Center takes on extraordinary importance. Though Outer Cape Health Services is now affiliated with the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, its history can be traced — in the person of Patti Cozzi, R.N., among others — to the Provincetown Drop-In Center at 6 Gosnold Street. More history»

90 Harry Kemp Way

90 Harry Kemp Way, Provincetown (2011), by David W. DunlapSnow & Snow

Don’t mistake the modesty of this building: 90 Harry Kemp Way is actually a powerhouse, as the home of the second generation of what amounts to the town’s establishment law firm. Christopher J. Snow (b 1951), a Provincetown native with a J.D. from Suffolk University, now runs the practice established by his father, John C. Snow (1920-1985). More history»

94 Harry Kemp Way

94 Harry Kemp Way, Provincetown (2008), by David W. Dunlap. 
David A. McHoul headstone, St. Peter's Cemetery, Provincetown (2011), by David W. Dunlap.Gately McHoul Funeral Home

As the only such business in town any longer, Gately McHoul may be said to be the Great Leveler’s great leveler, since just about everyone passes through on their way to their final resting place, from Provincetown’s humblest citizen to its best-known resident (Norman Mailer). The business was established in 1985 by David A. McHoul (1942-2005), pictured at right, a Boston native and Vietnam veteran who had spent 20 running an embalming service with his brother. After he died at 63 of complications from Lyme’s disease, the funeral home was taken over by William J. Gately, who summarized the advantages of a local operation on the Gately McHoul Web site: More history»

3 Holway Avenue

3 Holway Avenue, Provincetown (2012), by David W. Dunlap. 
3 Holway Avenue, Provincetown (2009), by David W. Dunlap.Miss Pat’s House of Beauty

Miss Pat is Patricia (Phillips) Ferreira (b 1934), a longtime beautician; a daughter of John and Mary C. Phillips, who bought this property in 1917 for $900; and a sister of Manual George Phillips (d 2001), who owned the Silver Mink and the Coastal Acres Campgrounds. Her husband, Kenneth E. Ferreira (b 1932), is a barber. They’ve lived here at least since the 1960s. The beauty shop, pictured above, is a separate building on the lot. I’ll confess I don’t know whether the well head in the garden is functioning or ornamental. • Historic District Survey, main house • Historic District Survey, shop • Assessor’s Online Database ¶ Posted 2013-02-03

56 Howland Street

56 Howland Street, Provincetown (2009), by David W. Dunlap. 
William Henry Young, by Volian Rann. King Hiram's Lodge, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons.Benson Young & Downs Insurance Agency

Benson Young & Downs is one of the oldest operating businesses in town, dating to the turn of the 20th century. It is the amalgam of three separate businesses: the S. J. Benson Insurance Agency of Provincetown, the William H. Young Insurance Agency of Provincetown and the Downs Insurance Agency of Wellfleet. It is still in both towns and now has an office in Harwich Port as well.

The oldest constituent in the trio is the Young agency, founded in 1901-02 by William Henry Young (1871-1942), one of those remarkable figures whose fingers were in every civic pie. “No one man has done more to promote the life of the village in its various relations to banking, business, art, religion, lodge activities, the fishing industry and the growing tourist business of recent years,” The New Bedford Standard Times said in 1929. More pictures and history»

36 Pilgrim Heights Road

36 Pilgrim Heights Road, Provincetown (2013), by David W. Dunlap. 
36 Pilgrim Heights Road, Provincetown (2013), by David W. Dunlap.Papetsas Building and Design Company

The Papetsas family, which has been in the construction business since the mid-’80s, are not just neighbors of the Cabrals but — as often happens in town — relatives, as well. They’ve owned this property since 1990, which is when their 2,800-square-foot house was built, suggesting strongly that it, too, is a Papetsas project. Thadd D. Papetsas (b 1955), carpenter and paterfamilias, is the son of John “Jack” Papetsas (1930-2009), originally of New Jersey, and Patricia (Cabral) Papetsas, his first [?] wife. More pictures and history»

10 Prince Street

10 Prince Street, Provincetown (2008), by David W. Dunlap. 
10 Prince Street, Provincetown (2013), by David W. Dunlap.                                                                                                                                                            (Former) Burr’s Barber Shop

In my walks through town, I’ve noticed a small cohort of truly neighborhood beauty salons and barber shops (most of them, unhappily, now shuttered). I imagine that these were welcome oases from the craziness downtown; places where old friends could reminisce and kvetch among themselves without much bother from tourists and wash-ashores. The property at 10 Prince Street included a main house and a garage that fronted on Cudworth Street. This was transformed into Burr’s Barber Shop, operated by Gordon H. Ferreira (1940-2011), the son of Jessie Ferreira (b 1916) and Rosemarie F. “Rose” Ferreira (b 1915), who lived here; More history»

43 Race Point Road

43 Race Point Road, Provincetown (2012), by David W. Dunlap. 
43 Race Point Road, Provincetown (2010), by David W. Dunlap.Nelson’s (43 Race Point Road Condominium)

That’s not formally the name of this commercial complex on the way to the Back Shore, but it’s a safe bet that more people know it as Nelson’s than as 43 Race Point Road, thanks to the longtime presence of the Nelson family and their riding stable and school, bicycle shop, bait and tackle shop and market.

Clifton A. Nelson (d 1982) and his wife, Katharine Nelson, bought a large tract, including the stable, in 1948. Fifteen years later, operating as Nelsons Riding Stable, they began offering trail rides out into the dunes. They were joined in the business by their daughter, Charlotte (Nelson) Rogel. Though Nelson’s Bait and Tackle is now owned and run by Richard B. Wood, it has kept the family name, as well as the inviting feel of a shop from generations ago, where bright wooden lures can still be found amid more up-to-date equipment and yellowing photos prove fish tales true. A dense little grove of fishing rods stands in the middle.

43 Race Point Road, Provincetown (2012), by David W. Dunlap. 
More pictures and history»

227 Route 6

227 Route 6, Provincetown (2010), by David W. Dunlap.Cape Cod Oil Company

Michael J. Tasha, who owns this mixed-use property with Halcyone H. Tasha, is the president of the Cape Cod Oil Company, which is quartered here. There’s also a house on the lot, pictured at right, that was almost certainly moved here from 6 Kendall Lane, where it served as the Rosa Lee Summer School of Portrait Painting.• MapAssessor’s Online Database PDF ¶ Posted 2013-08-18

9 Ryder Street Extension

9 Ryder Street Extension, Provincetown (2010), by David W. Dunlap. 
9 Ryder Street Extension, Provincetown (2008), by David W. Dunlap.Fishermen’s Wharf (also, Cabral’s Wharf) | Provincetown Marina | Cape Cod Oil’s Gas Dock | 9 Ryder Seaside Dining

It was at the wharves that women parted from their husbands. It was to the wharves that they returned trembling when a fishing vessel, gone too long, returned with its flag at half mast — if it returned at all. The women of Provincetown, who also faced the sea, were often overlooked when men accounted for the heroism of the fishery. So perhaps some cosmic leveling explains the fact that the women received their waterfront tribute, They Also Faced the Sea, by Norma Holt (d 2013) and Ewa Nogiec, a decade before the unveiling of the Provincetown Fishermen’s Memorial project. The installation certainly catches most visitors’ eyes, as it can be seen prominently on arrival and departure from MacMillan Wharf. But it is not Fishermen’s Wharf only distinction.

9 Ryder Street Extension, Provincetown (ND), by Ross Moffett. Courtesy of the Provincetown History Preservation Project (Moffett Collection).The original pier shed of Sklaroff’s Wharf, forerunner of Fishermen’s Wharf. [Link] 

More pictures and history»

5 Sandy Hill Lane

5 Sandy Hill Lane, Provincetown (2013), by David W. Dunlap 
"CASAS," by Carol Pugliese. Provincetown Community TV, via Vimeo.CASAS, Carrie A. Seaman Animal Shelter

If you thought Building Provincetown was somehow “above” posting videos of adorable kittens, you were mistaken. I was just waiting for the right entry. And this is it: CASAS, the no-kill shelter for adoptable cats and dogs from all over the lower Cape. Carol Pugliese produced a documentary on the shelter for Provincetown Community TV that is available through Vimeo. More history»

9 Shank Painter Road

9 Shank Painter Road, Provincetown (2011), by David W. Dunlap. 
9 Shank Painter Road, Provincetown (2008)-02F. A. Days & Sons

Christopher E. Enos, the owner and president of Days Propane, says on the company’s Web site that it has been serving the lower Cape for more than 40 years. But the company name has an even richer tradition, going back more than a century to 1911, when Frank A. Days Jr. (1849-1937), who had arrived from the Azores at age 18, established a contracting and construction supply company at 24 Pearl Street. With the addition of inexpensive artists’ studios to the complex in 1914, the Days lumberyard became renowned in cultural circles. It is now the Fine Arts Work Center. • MapAssessor’s Online Database PDF ¶ Posted 2013-08-29

15 Shank Painter Road

15 Shank Painter Road, Provincetown (2011), by David W. Dunlap.Prestige Dry Cleaners

It is much easier in Provincetown to buy original artwork or watch whales than it is to get your clothes cleaned. Prestige is one of the very few places where that’s possible. The property is owned by Christopher E. Enos, the proprietor and president of Days Propane, next door at 9 Shank Painter Road, through Blue Sunshine Realty. • MapAssessor’s Online Database PDF ¶ Posted 2013-08-29

30 Shank Painter Road

30 Shank Painter Road, Provincetown (2012), by David W. Dunlap.Provincetown Medical Group

Dr. Brian O’Malley (b 1948) and Dr. Wilsa J. Ryder (b 1947), husband and wife, run the private Provincetown Medical Group from this building, constructed in 1965, which they purchased in 1985 from Ronald and Kathleen B. White. The physicians live at 556 Commercial Street and have practiced medicine in town since the late 1970s. • Formerly denominated 16 Shank Painter Road • MapAssessor’s Online Database PDF ¶ Posted 2013-09-02

36 Shank Painter Road

36 Shank Painter Road, Provincetown (2012), by David W. Dunlap. 
36 Shank Painter Road, Provincetown (2010), by David W. Dunlap.Shank Painter Common Condominium | Fireside Insurance Agency | Comcast

This cottage colony on the edge of Shank Painter Pond seems to date from the ’50s or early ’60s. Jeff Knudsen, who bought Unit 18 in 2012 with his spouse, Michael Schwartz, has been doing some investigating of his own. He spotted no evidence of the complex in a 1956 photograph of Shank Painter Road and said that neighbors recall the cottages going up sometime around 1960. There is a reference in the 1987 Chamber of Commerce guide to Silva’s Apartments and Cottages at 34 Shank Painter Road. But that was five years after Marilyn J. Downey and John W. Downey set up the condominium trust. The Downeys were onetime proprietors of the Shamrock Motel and Cottages at 49 Bradford Street. More pictures»

56 Shank Painter Road

56 Shank Painter Road, Provincetown (2013), by David W. Dunlap. 
56 Shank Painter Road, Provincetown (2009), by David W. Dunlap.Stop & Shop | Seamen’s Bank

The Stop & Shop is Provincetown’s agora.

Oh, yes, it would be more satisfying — spiritually and intellectually — to anoint Town Hall with that exalted distinction. Or MacMillan Wharf. But the plain truth of the matter is that this supermarket is the center of town. If you spend enough time in its aisles, just about everyone you’d want to see (and one or two people you didn’t) will almost certainly pass by. This structure is nearly an acre in extent; 43,479 square feet, according to the assessor. That may sound dinky by big-box standards, but on the lower Cape it is nothing short of colossal. You could fit the entire permanent population of Provincetown easily in about half of the store’s space, without even having to remove the shelves.

56 Shank Painter Road, Provincetown (2010), by David W. Dunlap. 

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68 Shank Painter Road

68 Shank Painter Road, Provincetown (2013), by David W. DunlapPennies Wine and Spirits | Provincetown Laundry

This 4,000-square-foot commercial structure, was built in 2002 by Charles W. Silva and Helen T. Silva to replace the old Weathering Heights barn, 68 Shank Painter Road. Century 21 Shoreland Real Estate formerly had an office here. On the heavily planted hillock in front of the building, careful inspection will disclose the Weathering Heights sign. • MapAssessor’s Online Database PDF ¶ Posted 2013-09-08

73 Shank Painter Road

73 Shank Painter Road, Provincetown (2009), by David W. Dunlap. 
Viola "Chach" Briseno, 73 Shank Painter Road, Provincetown (2009), by David W. Dunlap.Chach | Joe & Son Appliance

Not your typical commercial real-estate synergy: an epicurean diner and an appliance sales and service center. But this is Provincetown, where some of the unlikeliest bedfellows can be found. “Chach” is the nickname of Viola Donyle Briseno (b 1960), pictured here, who opened this restaurant in 2005 with Sharon L. Bowes (b 1959) in a space that was once the renowned Donut Shop. The property has been owned since 1984 by Michael S. Trovato (b 1955), who is the “Son” in “Joe & Son,” which also operates out of Wellfleet. The “Joe” is Joseph Trovato (b ±1924), a veteran of Land’s End Marine Supply, who established his own appliance servicing business in 1961. Michael bought this parcel in 1984 from the Costa family, operators of the Provincetown Golf Range, 73-89 Shank Painter Road. More pictures and history»

74 Shank Painter Road

74 Shank Painter Road, Provincetown (2010), by David W. Dunlap. 
Ewa Nogiec, 74 Shank Painter Road, Provincetown (2012), by David W. Dunlap.Gallery Ehva

Pop culture has long been Shank Painter Road’s stock in trade. High culture, not so much. That is, until 2009, when Ewa Nogiec (b 1952), a photographer, painter, illustrator and graphic designer, opened Gallery Ehva in the principal commercial space at No. 74, owned by Charles W. Silva, whose other properties along the road begin at the Stop & Shop. Nogiec is a native of Wroclaw, Poland. She attended the Akademia Sztuk Pięknych w Poznaniu (Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan). By her own account, the conceptual artist Jarosław Kozłowski was her most important teacher. In 1981, the convulsive year in which martial law was imposed in Poland to curb the rapid growth of the independent trade union movement embodied by Lech Wałęsa, Nogiec learned about Provincetown while on a visit to New York. More pictures and history»