100 Bradford Street

100 Bradford Street, New England Telephone and Telegraph Company central switchboard, courtesy of Duane Steele and Mary-Jo Avellar.

100 Bradford Street, New England Telephone and Telegraph Company central switchboard, courtesy of Duane Steele and Mary-Jo Avellar.

Mary-Jo Avellar and Duane Steele, 100 Bradford Street, by David W. Dunlap (2012).

Mary-Jo Avellar and Duane Steele, 100 Bradford Street, by David W. Dunlap (2012).

Provincetown had hand-cranked telephones until 1938, when 100 Bradford was built as the switching center for the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company, allowing customers to lift their receivers to summon an operator. Until 1966, 16 telephone operators stood by, greeting callers: “Number please.” After the town converted to direct dialing, this was briefly the Chrysler Glass Museum, home of Walter Chrysler Jr.’s collection of Sandwich glass. The Advocate moved here in 1975. It undertook an expansion and modernization in 1977, designed by John Moberg of Mobic Design-Build, with a newsroom, composing room, and two darkrooms. The newspaper was acquired by Duane Steele and Mary-Jo Avellar, who still live here.

100 Bradford Street

Provincetown had hand-cranked telephones until 1938, when 100 Bradford Street was built as the switching center for the New England Telephone and Telegraph Company, allowing customers to lift their receivers to summon an operator. Until 1966, 16 telephone operators stood by, greeting callers: “Number please.” After Provincetown converted to direct dialing, this was briefly the Chrysler Glass Museum, home of Walter P. Chrysler’s collection of Sandwich glass. The Advocate moved here in 1975 and undertook an expansion and modernization in 1977, designed by John Moberg of Mobic Design-Build in Cambridge, with a newsroom, composing room and two darkrooms. (The presses were out of town.) More pictures and history »

101 Bradford Street

A striking articulation of Greek Revival style, this house (c1840/60) is further distinguished by the orientation of its setback ell, which creates an appealing front courtyard. In the late 40s and early 50s, this was the home of Charles F. Ross, the superintendent of schools, and his wife, Marjorie Ferranti. It has rarely been used for any public purpose, though in the 1950s it served briefly as the summertime branch of the Boris Mirski Gallery. Mirski (1898-1974) had his main gallery at 166 Newbury Street in Boston. Tim Barry, the owner of Tim’s Books, 242 Commercial Street, bought this building in 2002. Picture essay and history »

102-104A Bradford Street

Elizabeth Gabriel Brooke, 104 Bradford Street, courtesy of Elizabeth Gabriel Brooke (ca 1979).

Elizabeth Gabriel Brooke, 104 Bradford Street, courtesy of Elizabeth Gabriel Brooke (ca 1979).

Elizabeth Gabriel Brooke, proprietor of the Provincetown Hotel at Gabriel’s and founder of the Women Innkeepers of Provincetown, says hers is the oldest continuously-run woman-owned inn in the country, having opened in 1979 as the Gabriel Apartments & Guest Rooms. It has “welcomed everyone for many years,” she adds. First, Brooke, Laurel Daigle Wise, and Christina and William Davidson acquired Nos. 104 and 104A, the abandoned Lighthouse Apartments for fishermen and transients. (No. 104 once housed the Cape & Vineyard Electric Company and, before that, Provincetown Light and Power.) Brooke acquired No. 102A in 1995 and the handsome, Federal-style No. 102 in 2000, and rebuilt both from basement to attic. Through 2013, this was known as the Ashbrooke Inn at Gabriel’s.

102-104A Bradford Street

Gabriel’s at the Ashbrooke Inn

“Gabriel’s sparked an entire movement in which lesbians publicly designated specific locations as women-owned and for women only,” Karen Christel Krahulik wrote, in Provincetown. (Gabriel’s itself has “welcomed everyone for many years – both men, women, gay and straight, families, children and companion animals,” Elizabeth Brooke notes.) The centerpiece of the compound is 104 Bradford, which originally stood where Town Green is now. It was moved to accommodate the park. Cyrus E. Dallin, sculptor of the bas relief, stayed in the house. The Provincetown Light and Power Company was here in the 1940s, succeeded by the Cape & Vineyard Electric Company. It next became the Lighthouse Apartments, a rooming house, then was abandoned. In 1978, Elizabeth Gabriel Brooke, Laurel Wise and Christina Davidson began rebuilding it as Gabriel’s Guesthouse. More pictures and history»

Town Green (Bas Relief Park)

Town Green, Bas Relief, by Det. Rich Alves, Provincetown Police Department (2015).

Town Green, Bas Relief, by Det. Rich Alves (2015).

Town Green, by David W. Dunlap (2010).

Town Green, by David W. Dunlap (2010).

The centerpiece of Town Green is Signing the Compact, better known as the Bas Relief. The park and monument date from 1920, the 300th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ landfall. The 170-foot-wide park property, once occupied by houses, was taken by the state to create a vista of the Pilgrim Monument. The bronze relief, 16 by 9 feet, was designed by Cyrus Dallin and cast by the Gorham Manufacturing Company. It had a haunting quality in the winter of 2015. Nearby are a memorial to five Mayflower passengers who died while the ship lay in the harbor, and a tablet with the compact’s text, in which some see early stirrings of American democracy. Years ago, other stirrings in the densely wooded park involved sexual escapades, some of whose participants ended up in jail — just across Bradford Street in Town Hall.

Town Green (Bas Relief Park)

 

The centerpiece of Town Green — a little park with a lot of topography — is a monument to the Pilgrims. It’s titled Signing the Compact, but is better known simply as “the bas relief.” Just as Town Green is better known as Bas Relief Park. The park and the monument date from 1920, the 300th anniversary of the Pilgrims’ landfall. The splendid vista of the Pilgrim Monument is no accident. The 170-foot-wide park property, once occupied by houses, was taken by the state under eminent domain for just that purpose. Picture essay and more history »