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»