See 88 Commercial Street.
This noble, handsome Italianate home was built around 1840 to 1860, according to the Historic District Survey. At the turn of the 20th century, it was home to Elsie F. Long, a photographer, and her father [?], Charles H. Long, a master mariner. The property was sold out of her estate in 1956 to Barbara Elizabeth (Dutra) Zawalick (b ±1924), a former town employee, and her husband, Raymond D. Zawalick (1922-1974), a motor machinist’s mate third class in the Navy during World War II and a custodian at the Veterans Memorial Elementary School from its opening day. Their son, Steven W. Zawalick (b 1946), pictured here in the 1964 Long Pointer, grew up in the house and followed his father into naval service. Before moving here, Mrs. Zawalick had enjoyed the distinction in 1945, at age 21, of being the youngest town clerk and treasurer in the commonwealth, though the appointment was temporary. More pictures and history»
6 Mechanic Street Condominium
There are 12 owners of the six units in this property, at the corner of Tremont Street. But there is not one person listed at 6 Mechanic on the town’s resident rolls, because the owners live in Attleboro Falls, Mass.; Boston; Rochester, N.Y.; Watertown, Mass.; West Hartford, Conn.; and Worcester. • Historic District Survey • Assessor’s Online Database, Unit A • Assessor’s Online Database, Unit B • Assessor’s Online Database, Unit C • Assessor’s Online Database, Unit D • Assessor’s Online Database, Unit E • Assessor’s Online Database, Unit F ¶ Posted 2013-03-24
Old Provincetown at its best, 8 Mechanic Street is rich in civic history and in whimsical eccentricity. It was purchased in 1919 by Sadie Mae (Newcomb) Patrick (1886-1979) and her husband, Manuel Patrick (±1875-1948), a fisherman who was the son of John and Mary G. (Souza) Patrick. Patrick was a partner in the sloop Golden Eagle with William A. Miller. The house has been occupied since 1981 by Avis Johnson (b 1948), who is one of Sadie’s great-granddaughters. Johnson has known far more than her share of personal tragedy, but she has cultivated and curated the yards around her house to bring delight to passersby. In an era of manicured topiary behind unwelcoming fences, this little tatterdemalion sculpture park is a simple joy.
Here’s a scene to conjure: Sunday evening, 22 September 1940, in the Sylvester home. Not just one daughter but two are to be married the next day — one hour apart — at St. Peters’s Church: Mary Sylvester to Joseph Andrews and Evelyn Sylvester to Robert Pigeon. Mary and Evelyn’s parents had both come from the Azores. Frank Roderick Sylvester (±1883-1952) emigrated from Pico in 1906 and worked as a fisherman. Joanna (Nunes) Sylvester (±1887-1963) emigrated in 1908. More history»
Frederic C. Ambrose created the Gull Realty Trust in 1985 and two years later this property was converted by Gull Realty into a four-unit condo. This was the home of Town Manager Keith Bergman (b 1957), Provincetown’s chief executive officer from 1990 to 2007, who had come to the Cape from three years as town administrator of Scituate. “No one has neutral feelings about Keith Bergman,” Pru Sowers wrote in The Provincetown Banner as he was stepping down after 17 years, “ending an era — some have termed it a dynasty — for both the man and the town. Like or dislike him, or perhaps a little of both, Bergman’s tenure, the longest of any of Provincetown’s municipal managers, has touched everyone in town.” (Pru Sowers, “A Laudable Legacy,” The Provincetown Banner, 12 April 2007.) More history»
Drawn to town to study with Henry Hensche, Franz Kline bought the Shadowlawn estate at 15 Cottage in 1959. He used the rear shed (16 Mechanic) as a studio, as Jackson Pollock had in the ’40s. After his death in 1962, this became the Zabriskie Gallery, an outpost of Virginia Marshall Zabriskie’s gallery in Manhattan. Among the artists shown here were Bob Thompson and Robert De Niro Sr., the father of the actor and subject of a 2014 documentary, Remembering the Artist Robert De Niro Sr. In the mid-’80s, 15 Cottage was a gay guest house called the Rushes. It’s now the Kensington Gardens condo.
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.
Surprisingly, there is a direct line from Charles W. Hawthorne, the Impressionist painter and teacher who was largely responsible for the town’s emergence as America’s first art colony in the early 1900s, to Franz Kline (1910-1962), one of the Abstract Expressionists who closed out the town’s last real golden age. The line runs through Henry Hensche, who studied under Hawthorne and taught Kline, and whose presence in town first brought Kline here. More pictures and history»
Yes, thank goodness, there is a mechanic on Mechanic Street. His name is Peter R. Cook (b 1945) and he once ran the Provincetown Mechanics shop at 238 Bradford Street, in a building that is now the Provincetown Theater. More significantly today, he is the co-producer and co-director, with Paul deRuyter, of the 2010 documentary Dad … I Wanna Go Fishin, which tells the story of Cook, who fished aboard the Little Infant and the Barbara Lee, and that of his father, Joseph G. Cook (1908-1980). More pictures and images»
Owners and occupants over the years have included the artist Susan Baker (b 1946) (Provincetown Artist Registry), author and illustrator of the vibrant The History of Provincetown and Provincetown Dogs ; Maryalice Kalaghan (b 1957), a/k/a DJ Maryalice, the disc jockey at the Boatslip Resort, 161 Commercial, since 1994 (she “(wo)manned the wheels of steel” at the Pied Bar, 193A Commercial, when she lived here); and Patricia M. “Tricia” Farrell (b 1961), one of the organizers of the Provincetown Cooking School, which opened in 2012 at the Methodist church. • Assessor’s Online Database ¶ Posted 2013-03-28
23 Mechanic Street Condominium
Edward C. “Babe” Carreiro (1926-2008), proprietor of Tip for Tops’n, 31 Bradford Street, and crew member of the Shirley & Roland, acquired this property in 1957, with his wife, Eva Elizabeth (Cook) Grace Carreiro (1925-2000). It had been owned by Clara (Cabral) Cook, the daughter of Amos Cabral (±1877-1948), a fisherman who came in about 1900 from São Miguel in the Azores, and his wife, Mary Gloria (Dears) Cabral (d 1955), who also came from São Miguel. The Carreiros moved to Truro in 1997. This is now a three-unit condo. • Assessor’s Online Database, Unit 1 • Assessor’s Online Database, Unit 2 • Assessor’s Online Database, Unit 3 ¶ Updated 2013-03-28
“I have called Provincetown my home since 1973, when I sought refuge there from my homophobic parents,” Susan E. Cayleff wrote in 2007 in the Journal of the History of Sexuality. “While I have lived and earned a living elsewhere, my home there is my true place of belonging.” More pictures and history»
Margaret Mary “Maggi” (Ghimussi) Fields (±1918-2008) and her husband, William P. Fields (d 1991), moved to Mechanic Street in August 1963 — and not a moment too soon. About 90 percent of their belongings had arrived here from their former home at 31 Franklin Street when that building caught fire. Maggi Fields was an artist who had studied under James Wingate Parr (1923-1969). She moved to Fairhaven in September 1991 and sold this property five years later to Jon T. O’Neal, who sold it in turn in 1997 to Craig Kennedy. He is currently the trade manager of the Fairfield University Bookstore in Fairfield, Conn. • Assessor’s Online Database ¶ Updated 2013-03-30
Mechanic Street is graced with not one but two wonderful sculpture gardens that are the imaginative work of the women whose families have long lived on this road. We’ve already seen Avis Johnson’s garden at 8 Mechanic. This charming and slightly more understated permanent exhibition at No. 27 is the work of Pauline Caroline (Peters) Costa (b 1941), who bought this house in 1965 with her husband, Capt. Wayne Louis “Duke” Costa (1939-1999), pictured here. The Costas purchased the property from the Gracie family, which had held it since 1886. (To put that in perspective, it changed hands during the first administration of President Grover Cleveland, then not again until the second term of President Lyndon B. Johnson, and never since.) More pictures and history»
Another mechanic on Mechanic Street — though now retired — is Clifford J. Santos Sr. (b 1932), who bought this property in 1966 with his wife, Rita Elizabeth (Riley) Santos (b 1938) of Framingham. At the time of their marriage in 1961, Mr. Santos was working at Duarte Motors, 132 Bradford Street, taking advantage of his training at the Bear Automotive Safety Service School in Rock Island, Ill. • Assessor’s Online Database ¶ Posted 2013-03-30
See 52 Creek Road.
See 46 Creek Road.