3 Carver Street


The best vantage from which to appreciate 3 Carver Street is outside the old aquarium. It rises on a small bluff over the jumbled business street, looking like a great white Greek Revival ghost, understated but imposing. For much of the early 20th century, this was the home of Frank Knowles Atkins, a Provincetown native whose grandfather, Samuel Knowles, ran the stage coach service to Orleans. More pictures and history»

3 Carver Street

3 Carver Street, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

3 Carver Street, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

The best vantage from which to appreciate 3 Carver is outside the old aquarium. The house rises on a small bluff over Commercial Street, looking like a great Greek Revival ghost, understated but imposing. This was once home to Frank Knowles Atkins, whose grandfather Samuel Knowles ran the stage coach to Orleans. Atkins was bequeathed his grandfather’s livery business, at what is now 293 Commercial, where he built the Pilgrim Theater. He was also credited with having started the first motorized “accommodation” service; an omnibus that made its way up along and down along through town, picking up and discharging passengers. In the 1940s, No. 3 was run as Grays guest house. It was acquired in 1967 by Barbara Baker and her husband, Robert Baker, who designed and built furniture that he displayed in a shop at Kiley Court.


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.

8 Carver Street

 
Brass Key Guesthouse
The Queen Anne House, a unit of the Brass Key Guesthouse compound, is a wondrously eclectic confection of many gables, Carpenter Gothic detailing and gorgeous Ionic columns. As transient lodging, the house has returned to its role in the 19th century, when it was the Cottage Inn, a boarding house run by Caleb Cook. It is also strongly associated with both the nearby Gifford House and the old First National Bank of Provincetown. That connection was first embodied in the person of Moses Nickerson Gifford, whose home this was until his death in 1918. Gifford was the son of James Gifford, namesake of the hotel up the street. He went into the banking business, beginning in 1866 as a cashier at the national bank. Twenty-two years later, in 1888, Gifford assumed the presidency of the bank, which he held for three full decades. But that alone greatly understates his civic role. More history and pictures»

9-11 Carver Street

 
Gifford House Inn
In a resort town where accommodations come and go by the year — and by the dozens — the Gifford House Inn is an astonishing stalwart. It is more than 140 years old. With 77 Bradford Street, it occupies the crest of Mill Hill, from which surprisingly generous vistas of the town and harbor can be enjoyed. Beautiful, it is not. Grand, it is not. But with 26 guest rooms and the Club Purgatory, Porchside Lounge and Thai Sushi Café by Ying, it’s certainly lively. And that’s saying a lot for a hotel of its age — whatever that age may be. More pictures and history»