1 Commercial Street

1 Commercial Street, the Provincetown Inn (1930s), courtesy of the Provincetown Inn.

1 Commercial Street, the Provincetown Inn (1930s), courtesy of the Provincetown Inn.

The Provincetown Inn Waterfront Resort and Conference Center is so large that its parking lot could hold the Crown & Anchor, Boatslip and Land’s End Inn — combined. The developer was Joshua Paine, who built the Castle at 2 Commercial and the Cape Cod, Colonial, and Puritan cold storage plants. The original building, with its two-story atrium (pictured), opened in 1925. During the 1930s, it was briefly the Sippican Hotel. It was taken over in 1935 by the dynamic Chester Peck Jr., who enlarged the inn beyond recognition after World War II, when it was used as a Coast Guard training center. In 1946, Peck opened the 255-seat Breakwater Room, with murals by Charles Heinz. Then he had the audacity to propose a four-acre offshore landfill. Beginning in 1957, a new peninsula was created for a parking lot, a motel extension, a pool in the shape of a Pilgrim hat (pictured), and, in 1967, a recreation and entertainment pavilion designed by Burnett Vickers. (Grace Jones and Phyllis Diller performed there — not on the same bill — as did Wayland Flowers and his puppet Madame.)

Mural by Don Aikens (ca 1966), 1 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

Mural by Don Aikens (ca 1966), 1 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

Swimming pool (not yet cleaned for the summer), 1 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2010).

Swimming pool (not yet cleaned for the summer), 1 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2010).

A redecoration begun in 1966 yielded charming murals by Don Aikens, based on old postcards and vintage photos. The most ambitious suite, in the Tiffany Room, recreates the Long Point settlement. Aikens also created “three-dimensional murals” with elements like a sawed-apart boat hull (pictured) to give them actual depth. Peck sold the business in 1972 to a group of investors from whom Brooke Evans emerged as the owner in 1977. The pavilion was demolished in 1997. The Evans family still runs the inn. Evan, Brooke’s son, is the hotel manager and president of the Provincetown Inn Cooperative.


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.

1 Commercial Street

 
Provincetown Inn

Well worth a visit even if you’re not staying here, the sprawling Provincetown Inn Waterfront Resort and Conference Center — part of which stands on four acres of landfill created especially for the hotel — is so large that its parking lot alone could fit the Crown & Anchor and the Boatslip and the Land’s End Inn combined. The principal attraction are historical murals of Provincetown and Long Point, painted by Don Aikens from 1966 to 1972. But you shouldn’t miss the two-story interior court of the original inn, built 1923/25, or the outdoor swimming pool in the shape of a Pilgrim hat, tapering to the deep end, with symmetrical staircases on either side of the shallow end, where a brim ought to be. More pictures and history»

† 2 Commercial Street

 
Castle Dune

Commanding a view as far as Wellfleet, the Louis Hollingsworth home was known as the Castle or Castle Dune; also as Pilgrims’ Landing (still visible on the gateposts). It was next owned by George Paine. Anton von Dereck had an art metal studio here. In 1936, the property was bought by Dr. Carl Murchison, a well-known psychologist at Clark University. He and his wife, Dorothea, collected works by artists connected with the town. Ross Moffett estimated there were 250 paintings and 150 prints and other works. Almost all were lost in 1956, when the house burned down. The Murchisons, vowing to rebuild, created Provincetown’s most distinctive work of mid-century modernism.

2 Commercial Street

 
Murchison House

There are few buildings as startling — in this town of gabled roofs and shingles — as the modernist landmark designed in 1959-60 for Carl and Dorothea Murchison by TAC, The Architects Collaborative, with Robert S. McMillan nominally in charge. Built less than a decade after Mies van der Rohe’s Farnsworth House, 2 Commercial Street is a two-level International style slab with walls of glass. Because Walter Gropius (1883-1969) was a partner in TAC, this is frequently referred to in town as the “Gropius house.” Indeed, The Advocate said in 1960 that Gropius “had much to do” with it. More pictures and history»

2 Commercial Street

2 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

2 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

Commanding a view to Wellfleet, Castle Dune (or simply, the Castle) was purchased in 1936 by Dr. Carl Murchison, a renowned psychologist at Clark University. He and his wife, Dorothea, collected works by American artists, especially those connected with the town. Almost all were lost in 1956, when the house burned. In rebuilding three years later, the Murchisons created the town’s landmark of mid-century Modernism, a hilltop promontory inspired by Japanese temples and designed by TAC, The Architects Collaborative of Cambridge. A core for sleeping and dining is wrapped in glass and verandas, for sweeping views of land and sea. It’s frequently referred to as the “Gropius house,” because the most famous of TAC’s eight partners, Walter Gropius, worked with Murchison on concepts, then collaborated with Robert McMillan and Benjamin Thompson. Furnishings by Hans Wegner and Kaj Franck came from Design Research, or D|R, founded by Thompson as a service for TAC clients.

2 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2010).

2 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2010).

The house cost $358,000 (roughly $2.9 million today), in part because of its large expanses of thermopane glass, central air-conditioning, and exteriors of teak and cypress. The terrace, paved in terrazzo, was intended for dancing. The swimming pool included cabanas. A few months after a house-warming party attended by Frank Sinatra, among others, Dr. Murchison died in 1961. The property was acquired from Barbara Murchison in 2008 by Clifford Schorer of Southborough, Mass., who undertook an ambitious restoration in connection with the overall redevelopment of the 3.5-acre site as a subdivision. (See 6 Pilgrims’ Landing.)


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.

7 and 10 Commercial Street

7 Commercial Street, Delt Haven, by David W. Dunlap (2010).

7 Commercial Street, Delt Haven, by David W. Dunlap (2010).

7 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2012).

7 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2012).

Named for the Pilgrims’ embarkation port in Holland, the pretty cottage colony of Delft Haven was begun around 1934 by Ralph Carpenter, retired general manager of the Caribbean Sugar Company of Manopia, Cuba, who lived at 11 Commercial. Carpenter was among the first hosts to offer amenities like full bathrooms. An early brochure said patronage was “restricted.” That probably meant Jews were unwelcome, though Carpenter would have gladly excluded homosexuals, too. Delft Haven sits astride the road, with compounds at No. 7 and No. 10. Under the ownership of Peter Boyle, it became an early condo association, in 1977. (Bayberry Bend, 910 Commercial, was the first.) Delft Haven was the setting of the annual White Party starting in the 1980s when Ken Kruse and Don Cote lived there. White costumes only; anything else goes. Had he lived to see the day, Carpenter would have turned white as a ghost.


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.

7 Commercial Street

 
Delft Haven

Delft Haven, the prettiest tourist cottage colony in town, was begun around 1934 by Ralph S. Carpenter, the retired general manager of the Caribbean Sugar Company of Cuba, who lived at 11 Commercial Street. He named the project for the harbor town in Holland from which the Pilgrims had set sail. Carpenter was among the first hosts to try catering to tourists with amenities. “The rest of the world enjoys a bath once in a while,” he said in 1937. “More than anything else, the town needs bathrooms and better beds.” Delft Haven sits astride the road, with one complex at 7 Commercial Street and another at 10 Commercial Street, and is very conscientiously maintained. More pictures»

8 Commercial Street

 
Rich in associations but hard to see from the road, 8 Commercial Street was once home to the abstract painter Karl Knaths, whom The New York Times called “a musician in color”; his wife, Helene; and her sister, Agnes Weinrich, who cofounded the New York Society of Women Artists. Out of sight and off limits to the public is the tiny spartan shack in which Tennessee Williams spent time in 1944 while he was finishing The Glass Menagerie. Harold Norse, who would later write Memoirs of a Bastard Angel, lived with him for six weeks. Williams signed his name to a door and a wall here. More pictures and history»

8 Commercial Street

8 Commercial Street, Tennessee Williams shack, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

8 Commercial Street, Tennessee Williams shack, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

Rich in associations but hard to see from the road, No. 8 was once home to the abstract painter Karl Knaths, whom The New York Times called “a musician in color”; his wife, Helene; and her sister, Agnes Weinrich, who cofounded the New York Society of Women Artists. Knaths arrived in town in 1919 and stayed because it was cheap and quiet. He died in 1971, saying that the fishing town he knew had disappeared. Since 1988, the house has been owned by Alix Ritchie, the founding publisher of The Provincetown Banner, and her partner, Marty Davis, an artist and designer. Out of sight and off limits to the public is the shack in which Tennessee Williams spent time in 1944 while finishing The Glass Menagerie. Besides the play, he also wrote his name on a door and a wall here.


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.

10 Commercial Street

 
Delft Haven

This view up Commercial Street may be the most storybook tableau in town — a 20th-century fiction, of course, but wholly beguiling all the same. Ten Commercial Street is the other half of the Delft Haven cottage colony (see 7 Commercial Street), created around 1934 by Ralph S. Carpenter, who lived across the way at 11 Commercial Street. It was, in a modest way, a predecessor to more recent developments like Telegraph Hill; borrowing many aesthetic cues from the town but packaging them in an improbably immaculate — and isolated — setting. More pictures and history»

12 Commercial Street

 
Village at Red Inn

The Village at the Red Inn, a 1985 condo complex at 12 Commercial Street, occupies a large lot. And the buildings — modeled on lighthouses? — are unlike just about anything else in town. But it is set back far enough, with a white gravel parking lot as a buffer, that it’s not too disruptive of the classical West End scale when seen from Commercial Street. More pictures and history»

15 Commercial Street

 
Red Inn

There are few hostelries in town as charming – and none as photogenic – as the Red Inn at 15 Commercial Street, which has been receiving guests for a century, and has operated under the current name since the 1910s. Sitting at a slight bend in the road, lushly planted, sharing a bit of its expansive water frontage with passers-by, it really resembles nothing so much as one of those pastel-tinted, linen-paper postcards of the early 20th century, come to life. More pictures and history»

15 Commercial Street

15 Commercial Street, the Red Inn, by David W. Dunlap (2014).

15 Commercial Street, the Red Inn, by David W. Dunlap (2014).

David Silva, by David W. Dunlap (2014).

David Silva, by David W. Dunlap (2014).

There are few hostelries in town as charming, romantic or photogenic as the Red Inn, which has been receiving guests for a century, and has operated under the current name since 1915, according to David Silva, a third-generation native who now owns it, with Sean Burke and Philip Mossy Jr. The Red Inn resembles nothing so much as one of those antique, pastel-tinted, linen-paper postcards — come to life. At the core of the complex is a house built in about 1805. It was bought in the early 1900s by a New York architect, Henry Wilkinson, who remodeled it and operated it as an inn with his sister Marian. Through the ’60s, it was run by their niece, Charlotte Wilson. As the “Widow’s Walk,” the inn was the setting of a fateful encounter in Norman Mailer’s 1985 movie, Tough Guys Don’t Dance.

15 Commercial Street, the Red Inn, by David W. Dunlap (2014).

15 Commercial Street, the Red Inn, by David W. Dunlap (2014).


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.

18 Commercial Street

18 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

18 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

“The real founder of the art colony was a woman, in 1896,” Stephen Borkowski, former chairman of the Art Commission, wrote in 2014, as evidence grew that Dewing Woodward’s Cape Cod School of Drawing and Painting preceded Charles Hawthorne’s school by three or four years. Woodward, who trained in Paris, “stopped using the first name Martha midway in her career, when she found that her artwork was not receiving the attention that it deserved,” said Mary Sieminski, who is researching the artist’s life. Woodward owned No. 18 with her companion, the artist Louise Johnson. References are made to their property as Pungo, though a cottage by that name burned in 1907, and the current building on the site — originally the bake house at Long Point — is much older. The two women went on to establish a school near Woodstock, N.Y. Woodward moved to Miami, where she died in 1950.


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.

18 Commercial Street

Red House

Red House, the plaque says – a bit needlessly, since the house is clearly that. A white-on-blue enamel plaque, designed by Claude Jensen, shows a Cape Cod house on a scow on the waves, with the narrow stretch of Long Point and its lighthouse in the distance. That indicates a house that was floated across the harbor from the antebellum settlement on the point. Once called the Gilbert Spencer cottage, 18 Commercial Street was built around 1830. It seems to have acquired its distinctive color in the 1930s, when it was acquired as an annex by the Red Inn, across the road at 15 Commercial Street, which used it to house workers and overflow guests. More history»

19 Commercial Street

Beach Box

Although it is nestled closely to the Red Inn, the Beach Box house originally had a much stronger link across Commercial Street and up Gull Hill to Land’s End Inn at 22 Commercial Street. This was the home of Irene W. Bunker, the owner who was responsible for transforming the old Higgins bungalow at the top of the hill into the Lands End Tea Room in June 1932. Bunker started by serving lunch, tea and light dinners on the porch, in the dining rooms and in the tower. More pictures and history»

22 Commercial Street

 
Land’s End Inn

If the architecture of the Red Inn epitomizes the town’s genteel past, Land’s End Inn — owned and operated through 2012 by Michael MacIntyre — represents the wild and wonderfully woolly. Though it has the address of 22 Commercial Street, this Shingle-style, tchotchke-and-craftwork-stuffed polygonal hulk is actually perched crazily atop Gull Hill. Its builder, Charles Lothrop Higgins, was a Provincetown native, descended through his mother from Peregrine White, a Pilgrim. He has been described as a Boston haberdasher, a world traveler, a lecturer, a lifelong bachelor and — as is obvious from the Bungalow, the summer house he constructed on Gull Hill — something of a nonconformist. More pictures and history»

22 Commercial Street

22 Commercial Street, Land's End Inn, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

22 Commercial Street, Land’s End Inn, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

22 Commercial Street, the Moroccan Room, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

22 Commercial Street, the Moroccan Room, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

Michael MacIntyre, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

Michael MacIntyre, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

If the Red Inn epitomizes the town’s genteel past, Land’s End Inn represents the wild and extravagant. This Shingle-style, tchotchke-and-craftwork-stuffed polygonal hulk was built atop Gull Hill in 1904 by Charles Lothrop Higgins, Mayflower descendant, Boston haberdasher, world traveler, lifelong bachelor, and — obviously — nonconformist. He called it the Bungalow. Its 24 rooms, some of them teak-paneled, contained Asian art and antiquities. After his death in 1926, Irene Buckler converted the Bungalow into the Land’s End Tea House, which opened in 1932. David Schoolman took over in 1972. He greatly expanded the building, adding the second tower and supplementing the eclectic collection of artifacts within. Land’s End was by now such an icon that it was given a supporting role in the 1995 comedy Lie Down With Dogs.

Schoolman died of AIDS, at 51, in 1995. Michael MacIntyre and Bob Anderson bought the property in 2001 from the David Adam Schoolman Trust, which invested $750,000 from the proceeds of the sale into construction of the Provincetown Theater. The couple, who also expanded the Brass Key, added air-conditioning to Land’s End, expanded the decks, rehabilitated the gardens, and completed landscaping of the grounds to plans that Schoolman had devised. Anderson died in 2004, at 47. MacIntyre sold the property in 2012 to Eva and Stan Sikorski.

22 Commercial Street, Land's End Inn, by David W. Dunlap (2010).

22 Commercial Street, Land’s End Inn, by David W. Dunlap (2010).


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.

26 Commercial Street

Before it was floated over, the 1850s Frances Abbott Cottage stood at the western edge of Long Point. The fluted pilasters and entablature identify this house as vernacular Greek Revival. It was the home to the Joneses in the mid-20th century: Carolyn, who helped organize the Camp Fire Girls, and her daughter, Helen, who was active in the Nautilus Club.

27 Commercial Street

27 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

27 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

“This is a big house, and I wanted it to disappear,” Robert Duffy, the president of Marc Jacobs Inc., told Elle Decor about his reconstruction in 2007 of the property that once belonged to John Van Arsdale, the founder of Provincetown-Boston Airline. The architect Stephan Jaklitsch certainly did a skillful job in disguising the house from Commercial Street, where it blends effortlessly with its neighbors. On the beach side, however, there is no disguising the palatial dimensions of its 80-foot-long Modernist mahogany and glass facade, quite unlike anything the West End had seen before. Duffy sold the property in 2013 to Ryan Murphy, the creator or co-creator of the television shows Glee, Nip/Tuck, The New Normal, and American Horror Story.


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.

30 Commercial Street

 
This was the summer home and studio of Jack Tworkov (1900-1982), whom The New York Times called “one of the most respected artists of the New York School.” Tworkov emigrated from Poland in 1913, worked with John Dos Passos in the 30s and took up Abstract Expressionism in the 40s. He bought this house in 1958 and added a studio. Tworkov’s students included Jennifer Bartlett, Jonathan Borofsky and Richard Serra. He died in 1982 and is buried in the Town Cemetery with his wife, Rachel; not far from Stanley and Elise Kunitz, who were neighbors on this side as well. More pictures and history»

30 Commercial Street

30 Commercial Street, Jack Tworkov studio on Point Street, by David W. Dunlap (2014).

30 Commercial Street, Jack Tworkov studio on Point Street, by David W. Dunlap (2014).

30 Commercial Street, by Josephine Del Deo (1976).

30 Commercial Street, by Josephine Del Deo (1976).

Built around 1850, this was the summer home and studio of Jack Tworkov, whom The New York Times called “one of the most respected artists of the New York School.” Tworkov emigrated from Poland in 1913, worked with John Dos Passos in the ’30s, and took up Abstract Expressionism in the ’40s. He bought this house in 1958 and added a studio, which is visible from Point Street. Tworkov’s students included Jennifer Bartlett, Jonathan Borofsky, and Richard Serra. He died in 1982 and is buried in Town Cemetery with his wife, Rachel; near Stanley Kunitz and Elise Asher, who were neighbors on this side as well, at 32 Commercial. Both No. 30 and No. 32 had been owned by Ursula Maine and were known in the ’30s as Ursula Cottage and Maine Cottage.


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.

31-41 Commercial Street

31 to 41 Commercial Street, the Masthead Resort, by David W. Dunlap (2010).

31 to 41 Commercial Street, the Masthead Resort, by David W. Dunlap (2010).

John and Valerie Ciluzzi, courtesy of John E. Ciluzzi Jr.

John and Valerie Ciluzzi, courtesy of John E. Ciluzzi Jr.

From No. 31 to No. 41 are seven buildings on 450 feet of beachfront, collectively the Masthead Resort and Cottages, managed and operated since 1971 by Valerie and John Ciluzzi. There are houses at each end and in the center — No. 31, the former Old Furniture Shop; No. 37, a Long Point floater; and No. 41, the Helena Rubinstein summer home — with four cottages among them. The assemblage was largely completed by Arthur Anderson, proprietor of the furniture shop, who inherited the Masthead from Edith Hendricks. Anderson and his wife, Olive, sold the Masthead to John Ciluzzi in 1959, without the wooden Indian that had become its trademark. “Some people have criticized us for not modernizing here,” Ciluzzi told Pru Sowers of The Banner in 2009.

I wouldn’t be one of them.


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.

31-41 Commercial Street

 
Masthead Resort

From 31 to 41 Commercial Street are seven buildings on 450 feet of beachfront, collectively the Masthead Resort, owned and operated since 1959 by John J. Ciluzzi Sr. (b 1923) What seems at first like a completely random group can actually be discerned as a symmetrical compound of three substantial houses at the ends and center — No. 31, the Old Furniture Shop; No. 37, a Long Point floater; and No. 41, the Helena Rubinstein summer home — with two cottages in each of the two interstices. More pictures and history»

32 Commercial Street

 
This was once the densest, most complex and most poignant garden in town — by design. The garden, together with an extraordinary body of poetry, was the life work of the poet Stanley Kunitz (1905-2006), a founder of the Fine Arts Work Center. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1959, the Bollingen Prize in 1987, the National Medal of the Arts in 1993, the National Book Award in 1995 and then, in 2000, at the age of 95 — when most people think about slowing down a bit — he was named Poet Laureate of the United States. Kunitz spent almost 50 years in Provincetown. “I conceived of the garden as a poem in stanzas,” he told The New York Times in 2005. “Each terrace contributes to the garden as a whole in the same way each stanza in a poem has a life of its own.” More history »

32 Commercial Street

"Aftermath," portrait of Stanley Kunitz, by Raymond Elman (1991). National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

“Aftermath,” portrait of Stanley Kunitz, by Raymond Elman (1991). National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

This was once the densest, most complex and most poignant garden in town. Together with an extraordinary body of poetry, the garden was the life work of Stanley Kunitz, a founder of the Fine Arts Work Center. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1959, the National Medal of the Arts in 1993, and the National Book Award in 1995. In 2000, at 95 — when most people think about slowing down — he was named Poet Laureate of the United States. “I conceived of the garden as a poem in stanzas,” he told The New York Times in 2005. “Each terrace contributes to the garden as a whole in the same way each stanza in a poem has a life of its own.” Kunitz died in 2006. He and his wife, the poet and artist Elise Asher, are buried in Town Cemetery.


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.

34 Commercial Street

A meticulously cared-for house, 34 Commercial Street is part of the Long Point diaspora in the West End. It was constructed in about 1830 and was the residence of Joseph Emery, in the center of the original settlement out at the point. In the mid-1950s, Jane Harrison had a jewelry store here, selling enamel-on-copper earrings, bracelets, rings, pendants and pins.

36 Commercial Street


Ina (Small) Snow (b ±1885) was — if such a distinction can be imagined — the Beach Plum Queen of the Lower Cape. She was an energetic, indefatigable and outspoken advocate of the domestic cultivation of the wild beach plum, seeking to tame and industrialize it as an economically beneficial crop, elevating it from its status as a local curiosity available only at roadside stands. So this handsome house — now home to Lauren Richmond and Bruce Deely — was, for a time in the 1940s and 1950s, Beach Plum Central. The house was constructed around 1840, the Historic District Survey said, a date that would seem to be borne out by the Greek Revival detailing. It had been in the Small family at least several decades before title was formally transferred in 1944 to Ina Snow from her mother, Harriet Small. More history »

36 Commercial Street

36 Commercial Street, Conrad Malicoat chimney, by David W. Dunlap (2011).

36 Commercial Street, Conrad Malicoat chimney, by David W. Dunlap (2011).

Bruce Deely and Lauren Richmond, by David W. Dunlap (2011).

Bruce Deely and Lauren Richmond, by David W. Dunlap (2011).

Ina (Small) Snow was — if such a distinction can be imagined — the Beach Plum Queen of the Lower Cape. She was an energetic, indefatigable and outspoken advocate of the domestic cultivation of the wild beach plum. So this handsome house — now home to Lauren Richmond and Bruce Deely — was, for a time in the ’40s and ’50s, Beach Plum Central. It was constructed around 1840, with Greek Revival-style detailing. Richmond won the property in 1976 in an auction conducted on the front steps. The interior of the house is dominated by one of the astonishing Gaudíesque fireplaces and chimney stacks designed and constructed around town by Conrad Malicoat.


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.

40 Commercial Street

 
Lawrence “Larry” Richmond (±1910-1978) does not have the household name of Helena Rubinstein (1870-1965), from whom he bought this property in 1945. But in his day, Richmond was every bit the influential tastemaker, as the head of Music Dealers Service in New York, distributors of pop sheet music — a backbone of the industry through the mid-20th century, when sales of sheet music from racks in department stores, stationers and barber shops simply plummeted. When 40 Commercial Street was built, in the late 18th or early 19th century (the Historic District Survey says 1820), Provincetown was at the height of days as a whaling town. The first lightkeeper at Long Point made his home here. More pictures and history»

40 Commercial Street

40 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

40 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

Helene and Lawrence Richmond, courtesy of Lauren Richmond.

Helene and Lawrence Richmond, courtesy of Lauren Richmond.

Lawrence Richmond does not have the household name of Helena Rubinstein, the cosmetics giant from whom he and his wife, Helene, bought this property in 1945. But Richmond was an influential tastemaker, as head of Music Dealers Service, distributors of pop sheet music. He was president of the Art Association, president of the Provincetown Symphony Orchestra, commodore of the Provincetown Yacht and Tennis Club, and a cofounder of the West End Racing Club. The Richmonds’ daughter Lauren lives at No. 36. This house was built in the late 18th or early 19th century. The first lightkeeper at Long Point lived here. It was purchased in 1942 by Rubinstein, together with Nos. 41 and 42, and was owned briefly in the mid-’90s by the Emmy-winning television director Bob McKinnon.


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.

42 Commercial Street

42 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

42 Commercial Street, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

The eccentricity of 42 Commercial Street, built around 1890, as well as the fact that it hasn’t yet been restored to within an inch of its life, makes it especially appealing. Until his death in 1941, this was the home of John Weeks Jr., born on Long Point in 1853. He was a whaler in his youth and, in retirement, earned renown as a model ship builder. (His wife, Carrie, made the sails.) Weeks’s miniature of the clipper Rainbow was owned by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Helena Rubinstein, one of the richest women in the world, bought this house in 1942 and kept it until 1947, even after disposing of 40 and 41 Commercial Street.


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.

42 Commercial Street

 
The eccentricity of 42 Commercial Street, built around 1890, as well as the fact that it hasn’t yet been restored to within an inch of its life, makes it especially appealing. Until his death in 1941, this was the home of John C. Weeks Jr., born on Long Point in 1853. He was a whaler in his youth and, in retirement, earned renown as a model ship builder. (His wife, Carrie, made the sails.) Weeks’s miniature of the clipper Rainbow was owned by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Helena Rubinstein (d 1965), one of the richest women in the world, bought this house in 1942 and kept it until 1947, even after disposing of 40 and 41 Commercial Street.

43 Commercial Street

Dr. Don’s Landing

Dr. Don’s Landing, a condominium at 43 Commercial Street, occupies a building that once stood at the center of the Long Point settlement, where it was built around 1840 for the whaling captain John C. Weeks Sr., whose son lived at 42 Commercial Street. Harriet Weeks Spear was born here in 1851, when the house will still across the harbor. It was ferried over when Harriet was seven years old and she continued to live there well into her 80s, after completing a half century as a high school teacher. She married at the age of 70. More pictures and history»

44 Commercial Street

 
West End Inn

The West End Inn, an unusually large Greek Revival house at 44 Commercial Street, looks — appealingly — as if it’s almost all windows. According to the proprietors, it was built in the 1840s as a captain’s house. The historic district survey dates it at 1855. Embert Gibbs, a paper hanger and painter (of the utilitarian variety), lived here in the 1930s and 40s. His daughter Adelaide gave piano lessons, so the house must have been filled with music, even if occasionally off-key. Twenty years ago, the house was called the Bed ’n B’fast. It is now the seven-bedroom West End Inn. It describes itself as being owned and run by gay men, mostly for men.

44 Commercial Street

44 Commercial Street, the West End Inn, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

44 Commercial Street, the West End Inn, by David W. Dunlap (2008).

The West End Inn, an unusually large Greek Revival-style house, looks — appealingly — as if it’s almost all windows. The Provincetown Historic Survey dates it to 1855. Dick Knudson, one of the proprietors of the Galley at 63 Commercial in the 1950s, and Bill Gilbert, a retired technician at Bell Laboratories, opened the building as the Bed ‘n B’fast guest house in 1983, then gradually reclaimed space from what had been a warren of small apartments. They were succeeded in 1992 by Jack Kosko, a former partner in Pat Shultz’s real estate brokerage, and John Fitzgerald, a former town treasurer. It is now owned by Warren Lefkowich, and has been operated as the West End Inn since 1995.


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.

45 Commercial Street

45 Commercial Street, by David Jarrett (1981).

45 Commercial Street, by David Jarrett (1981).

In the 1970s and early ’80s, when Provincetown was at its nonconformist zenith, a neo-Classical belfry, topped by a tapering cupola and whale wind vane, stood outside the Jones Locker guest house at No. 45. It’s gone now but, aside from this handsome picture by David Jarrett, you can get a good glimpse of it in Provincetown Discovered. A trustee of the Jones Locker Condominium, Philip Franchini, relayed a story from Patrick Trani at No. 49 that the cupola came from a building at Harvard and wound up in a Dorchester junkyard, where it was purchased by Larry Jones, who ran this property beginning in the 1960s. He used it as a bar for grand parties on the deck. The main house is a much altered Long Point floater, built about 1840.


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.

45 Commercial Street

 
Jones Locker Condominium

For a period in the 1970s, when Provincetown was at its nonconformist zenith, a neo-Classical belfry, topped by a tapering cupola and whale windvane, stood outside (or very near) 45 Commercial Street. You can get a good glimpse of it inside the back cover of Provincetown Discovered (1986), by Edmund V. Gillon Jr. The remarkably out-of-place structure was also photographed in 1976 by Josephine Del Deo as part of the Massachusetts Historical Commission Inventory. Could it have been associated with the Shore Studio Gallery next door at 47 Commercial Street? I’m eager to learn more. More pictures and history»

46 Commercial Street

A full Cape with Victorian trim, 46 Commercial Street was originally the home of Richard Tarrant at the east end of Long Point. It was constructed in approximately 1820. The Rev. Frank Orr Johnson, the priest in charge of St. Mary of the Harbor in the late 1920s and early 30s, lived here. A hand-painted plaque, “La Mantia / La Velle,” refers to the owners, Raffaello LaMantia, an artist, and J. Edward LaVelle, who purchased the property in 1988. The couple had been together 53 years at the time of LaVelle’s death in 2013. ¶ Updated 2013-11-17

47 Commercial Street

 
Labrador Landing Condominium

The Labrador Landing Condominium at 47 Commercial Street occupies a large 1835 structure that distinguished for its dimensions early on: it was the only two-story house on Long Point, where it belonged to John Williams. In 1947, Donald F. Witherstine opened the Shore Studio Gallery. It was one of the first and most important commercial galleries in town. “We could use the amazing Mr. Witherstine in 57th Street also,” Edward Alden Jewell wrote in The New York Times that year. “He is a force, a whiz, a conflagration.” More pictures and history»

47 Commercial Street

47 Commercial Street, Labrador Landing, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

47 Commercial Street, Labrador Landing, by David W. Dunlap (2009).

"The Seiners" (detail), by Donald Witherstine, courtesy of the Provincetown History Preservation Project.

“The Seiners” (detail), by Donald Witherstine, courtesy of the Provincetown History Preservation Project.

The Labrador Landing Condominium occupies a large 1835 structure that was distinguished for its dimensions early on: it was the only two-story house on Long Point, where it belonged to John Williams. In 1947, Donald Witherstine opened the Shore Studio Gallery. It was one of the first and most important commercial galleries in town. “We could use the amazing Mr. Witherstine in 57th Street,” Edward Alden Jewell wrote in The New York Times. “He is a force, a whiz, a conflagration.” Witherstine had a studio here in the ’30s, where he showed etchings, block prints, and paintings. As director of the Art Association, he’d caused a sensation in 1945 by arranging for the sales of artwork there. He died in 1961. The Boathouse Cottage at Labrador Landing is the old 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.