437 Commercial Street

437 Commercial Street, Poor Richard's Landing, by David W. Dunlap (2013).

437 Commercial Street, Poor Richard’s Landing, by David W. Dunlap (2013).

Poor Richard's Landing, by David W. Dunlap (2013).

Poor Richard’s Landing, by David W. Dunlap (2013).

An entire chapter of Time and the Town was devoted to Clan Avellar, which included Angelina Jacinta (Soares) Avellar, or “Mother Avellar”; Antone, made famous by Gerrit Beneker in a World War I poster; and Justin, owner of Hindu. Their home, No. 437, is a half Cape. The French doors were added in 1971, when Harvey Dodd opened a gallery here. At that time, the second floor was extended to meet No. 439, forming a breezeway to Avellar’s Wharf. In 1960, George Harvender and Floyd Linder bought the wharf and renamed it Harvender’s Landing. Richard Lischer bought it in 1965 and renamed it Poor Richard’s Landing. Ilona Royce Smithkin and Karen Katzel bought it in 1991. It’s managed by Sarah Thompson and Diane Stafford. Dodd was succeeded by John Lucas’s J. Lucas Gallery, Alex Carleton’s Foc’sle store, and Shirl Roccapriore’s Oils by the Sea Gallery.


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.

452 Commercial Street

 
Tall Ship Apartments

Originally the Capt. William Bush house and once known as the Ship Apartments or Tall Ship Apartments, this building has changed astonishingly little in 35 years, as two pictures below (one taken by Josephine Del Deo in 1977) clearly show. Manuel F. “Pat” Patrick and Hilda Patrick owned the Ship Apartments in the 1940s and ’50s, when the best-known resident was Francis J. “Bossy” McGady (±1897-1952), whose “Up Along and Down Along” column in The Advocate conjured every week the voice of an Irishman who had grown up as the child of an innkeeper in Worcester, played football as a tramp athlete for any number of colleges he didn’t attend, More pictures and history»

† 454-456 Commercial Street

Solomon’s Temple

A modest home with a grand name, Solomon’s Temple commemorated its occupancy by Capt. Solomon Bangs (1821-1905), a weir fisherman, and his enterprising wife, Rosilla Bangs (1823-1908), the founder of Bangsville, a tent and cottage colony in the area now known as Mayflower Heights [?]. “Uncle Solomon’s home was a three-story structure with a large front yard,” Josephine Patterson recalled in 1942, “not landscaped with a lawn and flowers, but gleaming white with an expanse of fish flakes, upon which was spread to dry the fish he had salted when he returned from his fishing traps.” Rosilla Bangs introduced herself to President Theodore Roosevelt in 1907, when the chief executive came to town to lay the cornerstone of the Pilgrim Monument. More history»

455 Commercial Street

Now home to Scott Rodgers and Jon Hubanks, 455 Commercial Street was constructed in the early 20th century as a berth not for a whom, but for a what: Tamerlane. This sailboat took its name from a whaling bark captained by Joshua Baker Winslow on three voyages out of New Bedford, in 1854, 1858, and 1865. Provincetown’s Tamerlane was owned by Captain Winslow’s grandson, Henry Joshua Winslow (1880-1963), and his wife, Grace (Davenport) Winslow (1877-1970). The Winslows built and spent summers in the gambrel-roofed house next door, 457 Commercial Street. Tamerlane was kept in this combination boat house and garage. “They sailed her in Provincetown Harbor,” the Winslows’ granddaughter, Katharine Winslow Herzog, wrote in 2018. “The Tamerlane was quite well known. People still tell fearsome tales of my grandmother ringing a bell and telling people to stay off of that boat!” Both Nos. 455 and 457 were owned at one time by George Bryant. He sold them in separate years to separate owners, and the boat house-garage was converted into a dwelling. Rodgers bought it in 2016. He and Herzog met online after he noticed her middle name — Winslow — on a Facebook post she wrote about Provincetown. The families met in person in July 2018. “Kathy put together a collection of photographs and a written history of the property for us, which we will treasure,” Rodgers wrote later that day. “We now have pictures of the original boat, the Tamerlane, that was stored in our home when not in use.” Tamerlane wound up in the hands of Munro G. “Mun” Moore (1927-1995), an avid sailor, a developer, and a founder of the Fine Arts Work Center.

[Updated 2018-07-25]

457 Commercial Street

 
Three generations of very gifted Richters — Mischa (1910-2001), his son Dan (b 1939), and Dan’s sons Sacha (b 1968) and Mischa (b 1971) — have traveled in Provincetown orbits at some point or other. This was the home of Mischa grand-père for the last 23 years of his life. (A profile appears on Provincetown Artist Registry.) The most nationally renowned of the family group, Mischa Richter was a cartoonist for The New Yorker from 1942 to 2000, whose work tended toward the gently sly, like two dogs, dressed in business suits and standing upright in front of a door with a “No Dogs Allowed” sign on it. Says one to the other, “We’ve got a class-action suit if ever I saw one.” (A selection of his work can be seen on The Cartoon Bank.) The cartoon editor of The New Yorker said at the time of Richter’s death: “He was a joyous man and was bubbling over with ideas. Bubbled throughout his life.” More pictures and history»

460 Commercial Street

460 Commercial Street, Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Hans Hofmann Gallery, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

460 Commercial Street, Provincetown Art Association and Museum, Hans Hofmann Gallery, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

With the addition of the Alvin Ross Wing in 2005, the facade of the Provincetown Art Association and Museum expressed the tension between traditionalism and modernism that has long vitalized this institution. With glass walls, the new ground-floor gallery reaches out to the community; a deliberate gesture by the architects, Machado & Silvetti Associates. The addition roughly doubled PAAM’s size. It shows that contextual architecture doesn’t have to be imitative. Instead, the new wing, clad in cedar shingles and louvers, keeps a deferential distance from the Federal-style Ephraim Cook house to which it is joined.

460 Commercial Street, the new Alvin Ross Wing and the old Ephraim Cook house, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

460 Commercial Street, Provincetown Art Association and Museum — the new Alvin Ross Wing and the old Ephraim Cook house, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

460 Commercial Street, art school studio, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

460 Commercial Street, art school studio, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

The Art Association was founded in 1914. Its first president, William Henry Young, was president of the Seamen’s Savings Bank. The first show, in 1915, was at Town Hall and included five paintings that were the nucleus of the permanent collection, by Charles Hawthorne, E. Ambrose Webster, William Halsall, Oscar Gieberich, and Gerrit Beneker. In 1919, the association bought the Solomon Bangs house, called Solomon’s Temple, at Bangs and Commercial. Two years later, it purchased No. 460 next door, originally the home of Ephraim Cook and more recently of William Bangs. Solomon’s Temple fell and the Cook house was renovated as a gallery that opened in 1921. The Hawthorne Memorial Gallery was built on the corner lot in 1942. Dr. Carl Murchison oversaw the 1960 addition of the column-free, 30-by-60-foot Hofmann Gallery. On the 50th anniversary, Ross Moffett’s history, Art in Narrow Streets, was published.

Joseph Kurhajec's "Untitled (Moonflight Series)," outside 460 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

Joseph Kurhajec’s “Untitled (Moonflight Series),” outside 460 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

Robert Henry, by David W. Dunlap (2011).

Robert Henry, by David W. Dunlap (2011).

Chris McCarthy, by David W. Dunlap (2011).

Chris McCarthy, by David W. Dunlap (2011).

By the late 1990s, PAAM had become a museum with almost 2,000 artworks and not nearly enough space to store them properly. It operated year-round, but not comfortably. The antiquated physical plant was discouraging lenders, because PAAM could not guarantee ideal conditions for artworks. In 2003, PAAM’s president, Robert Henry, and executive director, Chris McCarthy, announced a $5 million expansion. The first phase, in 2004, restored the Cook house. The ground floor, formerly a reception area and gift shop, was turned into a new gallery. Next, from 2004 to 2005, the 1942 Hawthorne annex was replaced by the Ross wing. It added storage space, two new galleries, a new gift shop and reception area, and new second-floor studios for the art school. Not everyone was won over, but McCarthy said that if the annex hadn’t been built, the museum “would have fallen down or it would have closed.”


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.