208 Bradford Street


Berta Walker Gallery

Within this unremarkable roadside building (1972) is one of the most respected and pedigreed showcases in town: the Berta Walker Gallery. Berta Walker was the founding director of the Graham Modern Gallery in New York. Her father, Hudson D. Walker, was an influential art patron and one of the forces behind the Fine Arts Work Center. Her great-grandfather Thomas B. Walker was the original benefactor of the Walker Art Gallery in Minneapolis. Her gallery, which opened in 1989, specializes in Provincetown artists. Walker currently represents Donald Beal; Varujan Boghosian; Romolo Del Deo and his father, Salvatore Del Deo; Elspeth Halvorsen; Robert Henry and his wife, Selena Trieff; Brenda Horowitz; Penelope Jencks; John “Jack” Kearney; Anne MacAdam; Erna Partoll; Sky Power; Blair Resika and her husband, Paul Resika; and Peter Watts; as well as the estates of Hans Hofmann, Herman Maril, Nancy Whorf and others.

208 Bradford Street

208 Bradford Street, Berta Walker Gallery, by David W. Dunlap (2014).

208 Bradford Street, Berta Walker Gallery, by David W. Dunlap (2014).

208 Bradford Street, Berta Walker Gallery, by Stephen Borkowski (2015).

208 Bradford Street, Berta Walker Gallery, by Stephen Borkowski (2015).

Berta Walker, by David W. Dunlap (2014).

Berta Walker, by David W. Dunlap (2014).

At the Sorcerer’s Apprentice, built by Freeman Forbes “Bob” Dodge and run by him from the 1950s to the ‘70s, one could find unusual pottery, driftwood lamps, and Blenko glass. As the Berta Walker Gallery, it is among the leading artistic showcases in town. Walker was the founding director of the Graham Modern Gallery in New York; daughter of Hudson and Ione (Gaul) Walker, early leaders of the Fine Arts Work Center; granddaughter of the writer Harriet Avery and the musician Harvey Gaul; and great-granddaughter of Thomas Walker, benefactor of the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Her gallery, specializing in important local artists, opened in 1990 at 222 Commercial before moving here. The artist Sky Power is the director. This is a live-in shop, part of a condominium complex developed in the 1980s by Kent Coutinho.


More than 2,000 buildings and vessels are searchable on buildingprovincetown.com. The Building Provincetown book is available for purchase ($20) at Town Hall, Office of the Town Clerk, 260 Commercial Street, Provincetown 02657.

211 Bradford Street


To say simply that this was once Cesco’s Italian Restaurant, while true, misses the larger point that Cesco — the “Spaghetti King of Cape Cod” — was a phenomenon in his day; witness the fact that the intersecting road is called Cesco Lane.


You’ll see the name spelled Chesco, too, as it would be pronounced in Italian. Mary Heaton Vorse’s brother, Fred H. Marvin, a student of Charles W. Hawthorne, met Francesco “Cesco” Ronga in Naples around 1910 and took him on as a kind of ward, cook, man Friday and companion. Ronga was said to have “the gay, volatile and changeable temperament of a true Neapolitan.” It was at Cesco’s in 1916 that the Beachcombers was founded. The artist Harvey J. Dodd lived here in the mid-1960s, and the sculptor Richard Pepitone ran an art school here in the 1970s.

211 Bradford Street

211 Bradford Street, courtesy of the Provincetown History Preservation Project.

211 Bradford Street, courtesy of the Provincetown History Preservation Project.

To say simply that this was Cesco’s Italian Restaurant misses the point that Cesco, the “Spaghetti King of Cape Cod,” was a phenomenon, still recalled in the name Cesco Lane. (You’ll see it spelled Chesco, too.) Mary Heaton Vorse’s step-brother, Fred Marvin, a student of Charles Hawthorne, met Francesco “Cesco” Ronga in Naples and took him on as a “valet.” To our eyes, it looks like a longtime love affair cloaked in a fairly thin veil. They were devoted to one another more than 40 years until Marvin’s death in 1942, Amy Whorf McGuiggan told me. Cesco’s restaurant, where the Beachcombers was founded in 1916, passed to Patricia Hallett after Cesco’s death in 1947. The artist Harvey Dodd lived here in the ’60s, and the sculptor Richard Pepitone ran an art school here in the ’70s.


More than 2,000 buildings and vessels are searchable on buildingprovincetown.com. The Building Provincetown book is available for purchase ($20) at Town Hall, Office of the Town Clerk, 260 Commercial Street, Provincetown 02657.

211½ Bradford Street

Mildred Greensfelder Playground

The forlorn sign doesn’t begin to hint at the pioneering influence of Mildred (Wood) Greensfelder, who was the leading force in the 1940s and the 1950s for the creation, maintenance and vitalization of the town’s principal playgrounds; here, on Howland Street, and in the West End, at Nickerson Street. Such was Mrs. Greensfelder’s identification with the issue of playgrounds that Mary Hackett proposed in 1954 that the new elementary school be named in her honor, “as her constancy and perseverance has resulted in a real contribution to the health and happiness of our children.” (“Name for School,” The Advocate, Nov. 18, 1954.)

Naturally — this being Provincetown — not even the subject of playgrounds is pure mom-and-apple-pie. Mrs. Greensfelder found herself in a nasty battle with the Recreation Commission, of all bodies. The donnybrook involved included her resignation from the committee and then a legal struggle that went to court and before the voters. The issue seems to have boiled down to how much macadam should be in a playground and who had the authority to install — if Mrs. Greensfelder didn’t aprrove. And she did not approve. “It is my firm belief,” she declared in 1950, “that such a surface, even when constantly supervised, will be hazardous, and wounds received from falls on macadam can be dangerous and dirty, and bones and skulls can be broken.” (“Pioneer Worker Quits in Protest,” The Advocate, May 25, 1950.)

Even when she and her husband, the playwright Elmer L. Greensfelder, moved to Philadelphia, Mrs. Greensfelder continued to hold a strong interest in the welfare of the playgrounds. In absentia, she urged voters before the Town Meeting of 1956 to approve the money necessary for the removal of dirty sand and the “spreading of clean sand in both playgrounds.”

212 Bradford Street

East End Market

Even neighborhood grocery stores summon history in Provincetown. The East End Marketplace is a descendant of the Patrician Shop, which was opened in 1949 by Cyril T. Patrick — he of Patrick’s Newsstand — and his wife, Philomena “Phil” (Jason) Patrick, who was also his partner in the Noel Shop. It was, together with Manuel Cabral’s Bonnie Doone (now Mussel Beach) and Basil Santos’s Captain’s Galley (now Michael Shay’s), one of the first big commercial enterprises on Bradford Street.

The Patrician was a general store, but with Eva Perry as cook, its lunch counter gained a reputation as having the best Portuguese soup on Cape Cod, Peter Manso said. After an interim as TeddySea’s Market, it became the East End, under the proprietorship of Gary and Ken. One can still see some vestiges of the past like the Patrician newsrack (visible in the photo below).