2 Mayflower Avenue

2 Mayflower Avenue, Provincetown (2008), by David W. Dunlap. 
2 Mayflower Avenue, Provincetown (2008), by David W. Dunlap.Hill Top Condominium

May I have the envelope please? The winner for the Best Performance on a Garage Door goes to Marilyn Monroe. Yes, even though the side-by-side cottages at the top of the hill are the real glory of this property, the faux-Warhol garage down below is what arrests everyone’s attention along Commercial Street. It’s such a striking set piece, in fact, that it was used in September 2012 as a backdrop for a picture of the bridal party after the wedding of Dawn and Jennifer, from Denver. More pictures and history»

12 Mayflower Avenue

12 Mayflower Avenue, Provincetown (2008), by David W. Dunlap. 
12 Mayflower Avenue, Provincetown (2008), by David W. Dunlap.Blue Goose Cottage

The Beede family was, at one time, one of the largest landowners in the eastern outskirts of Provincetown. Their properties ran from bay to ocean. On the harbor side, they owned the Beede Cottages, 857 Commercial Street, which are now the Ainsworth Cottages. On the Back Shore, they owned the land to which the second Peaked Hill Bars Coast Guard Station had been removed, just a small piece out of a 250-acre tract that was purchased by the National Park Service in 1966 to be included in the Cape Cod National Seashore. More pictures and history»

18 Mayflower Avenue

18 Mayflower Avenue, Provincetown (2008), by David W. Dunlap. 
Untitled, by Varujan Boghosian. Collection of the Provincetown Art Association and Museum.Hiawatha Cottage

The sculptor Varujan Y. Boghosian (b 1926) is considered to be among the leading Provincetown artists of the post-World War II generation. His assemblages of found objects are presented with a discipline that very much calls to mind the work of Josef Albers, with whom Boghosian studied at Yale. He and his wife, Marilyn H. Boghosian, have owned this cottage since 1966. (Three years earlier, they purchased the abutting property at 14 Mayflower Avenue.) More pictures and history»

22 Mayflower Avenue

22 Mayflower Avenue, Provincetown (2008), by David W. Dunlap. 
22 Mayflower Avenue, Provincetown (1976), by Josephine Del Deo. Massachusetts Historical Commission Inventory, 1973-1977: Provincetown Mayflower Heights. Courtesy of the Provincetown Public Library.Abbotsford Cottage

A glance at the photo above, taken in 2008, and the photo at right, taken 32 years earlier by Josephine Del Deo, will give some sense how miraculously the hillside cottages of Mayflower Heights have survived the decades. One explanation is that because they were purely seasonal homes and unsuitable for year-round occupancy, there was not so much pressure on the owners to modernize or improve them. Basically, they served their function best as simple wood-frame shells through which summer breezes could waft. Another important explanation is that they rarely changed hands. Families held on to them for generations and scarcely saw the need to undertake cosmetic or substantive upgrades to impress anyone, least of all themselves. More history and pictures»

25 Mayflower Avenue

25 Mayflower Avenue, Provincetown (2008), by David W. Dunlap. 
25 Mayflower Avenue, Provincetown (2008), by David W. Dunlap.There wasn’t an awful lot anyone had to do to improve the basic summer cottage, with its breeze-catching wraparound porch and voluminous second floor, where heat rose high into a gabled ceiling space so that sleepers down below could stay cooler. But the intricately carved gingerbread icing on this cottage — denominated 19 Mayflower, 21 Mayflower and 25 Mayflower over time — has always helped it stand out. More pictures and history»

27 Mayflower Avenue

27 Mayflower Avenue, Provincetown (2008), by David W. Dunlap.Wit’s End Cottage

Timeless scene = longtime family ownership. That seems to be the basic equation throughout town, but it’s especially pronounced on Mayflower Heights. In this case, the family is the Donahues of Milton, Mass. Andrew J. Donahue Jr. (1921-1998) — who named the cottage “Wit’s End” — and his wife, Virginia E. (Whipple) Donahue (1925-2002), bought the property in 1968 from Raymond C. and Florence N. Stevens. It’s now owned by their sons, Kevin C. Donahue and Andrew J. Donahue III. • Assessor’s Online Database ¶ Updated 2013-03-19

28 Mayflower Avenue

28 Mayflower Avenue, Provincetown (1976), by Josephine Del Deo. Massachusetts Historical Commission Inventory, 1973-1977: Provincetown Mayflower Heights. Courtesy of the Provincetown Public Library. 
This may look like a big house. And it’s grown larger with the enclosure of the porch since Josephine Del Deo took this picture in 1976. But consider: in the early ’60s, after it was bought by Priscilla W. (Cahill) Kennedy (b 1918) of Foxboro, Mass., and her husband, Gerard F. Kennedy (1917-1978), this house was used by five boys. At moments, it must have felt too small to contain all that energy. In those days, it was denominated 20 Mayflower. • Assessor’s Online Database ¶ Posted 2013-03-19

37 Mayflower Avenue

37 Mayflower Avenue, Provincetown (ND). Courtesy of the Provincetown History Preservation Project (Postcard Collection). 
37 Mayflower Avenue, Provincetown (2010), by David W. Dunlap.Newton Eyrie Cottage

With an aerie’s commanding situation, this was home to Henry and Caroline [?] Scales, who sold it in 1914 to Lucius D. and Grace H. Crispin of Needham, Mass. It passed to a second generation, Elmer C. and Janet W. Crispin, in 1966. Their children, Richard and Sheryl, were the next generation to spend summers on Mayflower Heights. The Crispins sold it in 1983 to Valerie E. Kaiser, who sold it in 1987 to Janet C. Sandborg, who sold it in 1993 to Theodore C. Cormay Jr. (b 1956). According to the assessor, the current house was built in 1994. More»

41 Mayflower Avenue

41 Mayflower Avenue, Provincetown (2008), by David W. Dunlap. 
41 Mayflower Avenue, Provincetown (1976), by Josephine Del Deo. Massachusetts Historical Commission Inventory, 1973-1977: Provincetown Mayflower Heights. Courtesy of the Provincetown Public Library.I believe this was the summer home of the Rev. Arthur W. Partch (b 1865) and of his wife, Harriet May (Fisk) Partch (1873-1946). Partch, a Vermont native who was white, spent much of his career as a professor and administrator at black colleges in the South. He was president of Tillotson College (now Huston-Tillotson University) in Austin, Tex., from 1904 to 1906, and also taught at Claflin University in South Carolina, Tougaloo College in Mississippi and New Orleans University (not the present-day University of New Orleans). More history»

54 Mayflower Avenue

54 Mayflower Avenue, Provincetown (2010), by David W. Dunlap.This modernist house, set apart from the road, was built in 1980, according to the assessor’s records. It is home to Jay J. Jakubowski (b 1955), a veterinarian, and Shawn D. Nightingale (b 1960), the former owner of the Vixen nightclub, 336 Commercial Street, and the proprietor of Shawn Nightingale Productions, which brought Whoopi Goldberg and Bruce Vilanch to Town Hall for a benefit concert in 2012. • Assessor’s Online Database ¶ Posted 2013-03-21

63 Mayflower Avenue

63 Mayflower Avenue, Provincetown (2012), by David W. Dunlap. 
Raymond Elman, Provincetown (2012), by David W. Dunlap.Mayflower Dunes Condominium

For nearly three decades, the artistic and literary colony of the Outer Cape has been sitting (or standing or working or playing) for an extraordinary cumulative portrait by Raymond Elman (b 1945), pictured at left, first as the co-founder with Christopher Busa of Provincetown Arts magazine and then as an artist who has created evocative large-scale oil-and-digital collages on canvas; about 160 of them to date. Those of Alan Dugan, Stanley Kunitz, Jhumpa Lahiri and Robert Pinsky are in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery. Though Elman had already left Mayflower Heights by the time the magazine was started, this was home during his formative early years in town, beginning in 1973. “I had my first Cape studio there,” Elman told me in 2012. More pictures and history»