In a town whose economy turned on the luck of the fishery, poverty was often no farther away than one capsized boat or a couple of empty nets. By 1870, there were so many poor people that Provincetown constructed this large Alms House, also known as the Town Asylum, to shelter them. In 1956, it was transformed into a municipal nursing home called Cape End Manor, which was housed here until a new facility was built at 100 Alden. The asylum was converted into town offices and renamed the Grace Gouveia Building, in honor of Grace Gouveia. This beloved teacher, poet, and social activist immigrated from Portugal in 1915, at the age of 6. She died in 1998.
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.
Please see the revised entry on Building Provincetown 2020.
The official name for this “concierge condominium” complex is Seashore Point. But you’ll often hear it called the Manor — “She’s up at the Manor these days, God love her” — since it supplanted and eventually replaced the Cape End Manor, a municipal nursing home that was built on this site in 1980 to replace the facility at 26 Alden. In 2006, management was transferred from the town to Deaconess Abundant Life Communities and ground was broken on the first 43 units of Seashore Point, designed by EGA Architects. The first residents, Dr. Richard and Barbara Keating of Truro, arrived in 2008. The final 38 units were completed in 2014.
Catholicism and Portuguese national identity are closely tied together at the Cape end, as even the briefest stroll through the 12-acre Cemetery of the Church of St. Peter the Apostle will reveal, on headstones carved with names like Avellar, Cabral, Cordeiro, Corea, Costa, Duarte, Dutra, Ferreira, Flores, Lopes, Macara, Santos, Silva, Souza, and Taves. The land was acquired in 1869, even before the church was built. It is owned by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fall River. Renovations of the cemetery were begun in 1952, during the pastorate of Msgr. Leo Duart, who also bequeathed money for the construction of the cemetery chapel, which opened in 1976. The sculptural scene of Calvary (pictured) was donated by the Rev. Manuel Terra.