Your older entries had convenient links for “map” and “tax assessor info,” while the newer entries do not. I miss them.

All of the Web entries from Ship’s Way Road through Young’s Court — which are being added beginning in October 2013 — will be extremely truncated, in order to give me time to prepare a book version of Building Provincetown. Once the book is done, I’m going to come back and add the links you speak of, and many others. I’ll also keep expanding, renewing and correcting entries in the months and years ahead.


Certain residents are not happy with what you are doing on this site. Maybe you should think about asking for people’s blessing and approval before adding them. There are many people in town that value their privacy tremendously.

I’m treading a thin — and often movable line — between the concerns of history and privacy. It’s simply not possible to reach out to everyone, as you suggest. But in the case of residents with whom I’ve not spoken directly, I rely strictly on public records and on data that are already available on the Web. In other words, I believe there is nothing on Building Provincetown that cannot easily be found elsewhere. That said, however, I certainly don’t want to cause discomfort or anxiety among residents. I understand that people may not wish certain details to appear on this site. Already, upon request, I’ve removed ownership information, birth dates and other sensitive material. And I will gladly accommodate requests to delete personal information, usually in less than a day. You can reach me directly at: david [dot] w [dot] dunlap [at] gmail [dot] com.


I am rather surprised that you are posting current property owners’ date of birth. I understand if you do it for historical figures, but I can imagine that current owners may prefer that information be private or at least semi-private (i.e.: you do not publish it, but rather have to go into Town Hall to get it). Since the owners’ ages are not on the assessor field cards, is it even public, or simply just salacious?

I do not give dates of birth to be salacious, but for the sake of clarity and to fortify the historical record. (I’ve made a point of giving my own year of birth, 1952, on my introductory page.) As a newspaper reporter, I know how valuable ages are in helping readers form something of a mental picture and gaining a sense of context. They’re also extremely useful in the case of families in which the same given names are used generation after generation. Because they are part of the Annual Street and Residents Lists, I believe they are unquestionably a matter of public record. That said, however, I don’t want to make anyone uncomfortable. My purpose is to expand the historical record — not to put anyone on the spot. I respect an individual’s desire not to be identified by age and will delete a birth year if asked. You can reach me directly at: david [dot] w [dot] dunlap [at] gmail [dot] com.


You haven’t included my building! Or, just as bad, you’ve included my building but you’ve made mistakes! What can I do to fix this?

Please remember that this Web site is a work in progress. It may be that I haven’t yet completed or illustrated the entries for your street or in your part of town. If it appears that I really have skipped right over your property, however, please let me know by writing to david [dot] w [dot] dunlap [at] gmail [dot] com. My hope is to include every building of interest. I’m sure that includes yours.

Same thing goes for errors. Please write to me personally so that I can fix them, which I promise to do as quickly as I can.


I’ve got a lot more information on my building than I see on the site.

I’ll bet you do. And I would love to include it. Please write to david [dot] w [dot] dunlap [at] gmail [dot] com. Scanned copies of family pictures taken inside or around homes, stores and other buildings are especially welcome.


Are you turning this into a book?

Yes. As soon as I’ve written at least one draft of all the entries, since the book is envisioned as a “best of” distillation. Maybe 2014. Before the pilgrim tetracentenary; that, I promise. The voters of Provincetown kindly and generously allocated a $12,500 grant at the Annual Town Meeting of 2010 to pay for the printing costs. I’m donating my work as author, photographer, and editor, as is the designer, John Kane of Boston. So the book should be quite affordable.


Many of the entries are blank, or they only have the name of the current commercial tenant. What’s up with that?

You’re looking at a Web site that is very much under construction. Eventually, all the entries will have at least a basic narrative text, as well as photographs. One reason I’ve opened the site early is in the hope that readers will contribute what they know about given properties, which will help me write the entries. You can do that through the “Comments” box at the end of each entry. You can also keep up with the latest entries on the Building Provincetown Facebook page.


At the top and bottom of the Web pages, I see the terms “Older posts” and “Newer posts,” instead of “Continue” and “Return” or “Move forward” and “Go back,” which would make more sense. Why?

That terminology is inserted automatically by WordPress, which — strictly speaking — is a blogging platform. It’s built right into the off-the-shelf template that I use for Building Provincetown, buried too deep in code for an amateur like me to ferret out and change.


I can’t seem to Google most of these entries.

That’s correct. It’s deliberate. At the moment, search engines are blocked from Building Provincetown, for the simple reason that it’s under construction and not ready for prime time. Only people who know the URL buildingprovincetown.com can access the site for now. As soon as the entries are relatively complete, however, the site will be opened to search engines — and the wide world beyond.


There are no ads and you’re not charging me to use this site. How do you make money?

By holding down a day job. Building Provincetown is strictly a labor of love on my part and that of everyone else who’s been kind enough to help pull it together. I look at it as a way of repaying my indebtedness to a community that has enchanted, engaged and sustained me for many years.

The money to create and maintain this Web site is coming entirely out of my pocket. I benefit tremendously from the fact that WordPress hosts site like this at no charge.

It is my hope and intention to keep Building Provincetown free of charge and free of advertising, to make it as useful, attractive and accessible as a research site can be; and unindebted to any outside financing source.

That said, I should also note that at the April 2010 Town Meeting, the voters of Provincetown approved a $12,500 grant to cover the printing costs for the book version of Building Provincetown. But that money will be used exclusively to pay the printer. I won’t see a dime of it.

12 thoughts on “FAQ

  1. I am a unit owner in the Oceanside Condominiums at 945 Commercial St.
    Last year some time, I sent you some information regarding this condo site for inclusion in this book. I no longer see it listed here anywhere.

    Does this mean it won’t be a part of the finished book or will I see it in the finished product.

    This is a wonderful project you are doing and I commend you for all the research involved. Best of luck with this project!!!!!

    • Thank you for encouraging words and allow me to offer some encouragement in return: Oceanside Condominiums will most definitely be on the Web site (and perhaps in the book). For much of 2011, the Web site will be in flux, so don’t get too worried when you see entries disappear and reappear.

  2. This is a phenomenal and fascinating Web site. Thank you for your time and efforts in putting it together. Like others here have mentioned, I cannot wait to see and buy the book! Thank you again.

    • Thank you for your kind words. I will happily autograph your copy; something that’s much harder to do with a Web site.

  3. Hi – Not sure if you are planning another print version now that it’s January 2021. Sure would love to get my hands on a copy. Saw that the 2018 edition was sold out. I did download the pdf but really it’s a strain to read off the computer (I’m nearly 74, live in NYC but have been visiting Provincetown since 1968 and hopefully will be coming up this summer again.)
    Thanks for researching & documenting the wonderful, engrossing history of my favorite place in the world. Much appreciated. – Joan

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