This “Painter” has nothing to do with artwork. It is, instead, a nautical term referring to a length of chain that helps bear the weight of an anchor when the anchor is hauled up and made fast to a ship’s side. More history»
4 Shank Painter Road Condominium
Easy to overlook on the way to the Stop & Shop, this house was once the property of James J. Perry, proprietor of the James J. Perry & Son plumbing business, around the corner on Bradford Street. “Son” was James H. Perry (±1914-1955), who inherited a share of this property, which was passed on to his brother, Eugene, after James’s death at an early age. It was converted into a three-unit condo in 2001 by Cassandra “Cass” Benson and Mary Alice Wells, who are proprietors of the Long Point View House, 6 Johnson Street. Benson also opened the Harbor Lounge, 359 Commercial Street, and redeveloped the Gull’s Nest Inn at 6 Sandy Hill Lane. More information»
Christopher E. Enos, the owner and president of Days Propane, says on the company’s Web site that it has been serving the lower Cape for more than 40 years. But the company name has an even richer tradition, going back more than a century to 1911, when Frank A. Days Jr. (1849-1937), who had arrived from the Azores at age 18, established a contracting and construction supply company at 24 Pearl Street. With the addition of inexpensive artists’ studios to the complex in 1914, the Days lumberyard became renowned in cultural circles. It is now the Fine Arts Work Center. • Map • Assessor’s Online Database PDF ¶ Posted 2013-08-29
Prestige Dry Cleaners
It is much easier in Provincetown to buy original artwork or watch whales than it is to get your clothes cleaned. Prestige is one of the very few places where that’s possible. The property is owned by Christopher E. Enos, the proprietor and president of Days Propane, next door at 9 Shank Painter Road, through Blue Sunshine Realty. • Map • Assessor’s Online Database PDF ¶ Posted 2013-08-29
“Is God dead?” was the question posed by Time magazine in 1966. The answer could have been: “If He’s still alive, he sure isn’t paying much attention to the architecture being committed in His name.” The general descent in quality of religious buildings in the West after World War II reflected the trauma their builders had just endured; a conflict that left even the faithful with many doubts. Rather than try to inspire awe or mystery or rapture, post-war houses of worship seemed content to take their cues from stripped-down residential and commercial buildings.
In that context, the Methodist church designed by Donaldson Ray McMullin Associates of Cambridge (that’s one man’s name, not a three-person firm), built from 1958 to 1960, was a remarkable achievement. Its compelling nave, with arresting redwood parquetry and steeply-pitched, exposed roof beams, tends very much to direct one’s eyes and thoughts upward, while exuding warmth and a connection with the natural world and to the craft of boat building.
Engine 1 (also designated Engine 190) went into service in 2002. [Link]
With the construction in 1993-1994 of a new four-bay fire house and adjacent headquarters building, the Provincetown Fire Department — one of only two volunteer departments on Cape Cod — consolidated operations from three different locations in the West End and downtown: Pumper House No. 1, 117 Commercial Street (now a private home); Pumper House No. 2, 189 Commercial Street (now a public restroom); and Pumper House No. 3, the former headquarters, at 254 Commercial Street (now a kind of all-purpose streetfront public space).
In 2013, the people of Provincetown were having a hard time agreeing on anything regarding the Police Department. But it seemed to be generally acknowledged that a former funeral home, dating to 1975, had long since outlived its usefulness as police headquarters after 29 years of wear, tear, ad hoc repair and constant overstuffing. Just what the answer would be — a rebuilt station on this site, or a new station downtown or at 24 Race Point Road — remained elusive as this was being written. Chief Jeff Jaran had taken the remarkable step in 2012 of personally documenting many of the station’s most glaring deficiencies in a 25-minute video called Police Station Tour, introduced by Town Manager Sharon Lynn. It was difficult to watch it and conclude that everything was just fine as is.
Police Chief Jeff Jaran in the dispatch room, on a video tour. [Link]
Provincetown Medical Group
Dr. Brian O’Malley (b 1948) and Dr. Wilsa J. Ryder (b 1947), husband and wife, run the private Provincetown Medical Group from this building, constructed in 1965, which they purchased in 1985 from Ronald and Kathleen B. White. The physicians live at 556 Commercial Street and have practiced medicine in town since the late 1970s. • Formerly denominated 16 Shank Painter Road • Map • Assessor’s Online Database PDF ¶ Posted 2013-09-02
It’s hard to believe that it simply vanished without a trace: a zoo that was operating near the center of town only 40 years ago, headed by a man who would go on to direct zoos in Syracuse and New Bedford. But I have yet to discern any physical evidence of the Shankpainter Zoo (though some vestiges might be here), nor have I ever seen any photos (though they surely must exist). More history»
Shank Painter Common Condominium | Fireside Insurance Agency | Comcast
This cottage colony on the edge of Shank Painter Pond seems to date from the ’50s or early ’60s. Jeff Knudsen, who bought Unit 18 in 2012 with his spouse, Michael Schwartz, has been doing some investigating of his own. He spotted no evidence of the complex in a 1956 photograph of Shank Painter Road and said that neighbors recall the cottages going up sometime around 1960. There is a reference in the 1987 Chamber of Commerce guide to Silva’s Apartments and Cottages at 34 Shank Painter Road. But that was five years after Marilyn J. Downey and John W. Downey set up the condominium trust. The Downeys were onetime proprietors of the Shamrock Motel and Cottages at 49 Bradford Street. More pictures»
Here is one of the few spots along Shank Painter Road from which one can catch a glimpse of the pond for which the street was named. It’s a measure of the road’s eccentric, eclectic character that a building type that would fit right in anywhere else in town — a modified full Cape — sticks out conspicuously here. The property was owned by Virginia R. Taves at the time of her death and then sold in 1972 to Richard and Gloria J. Burhoe. Jane A. Taves bought this and the adjacent property, 48 Shank Painter Road, in 1999. • Formerly denominated 22 Shank Painter Road • Map • Assessor’s Online Database ¶ Posted 2013-09-02
J. G. Taves, C.P.A., and Taves Realty
This is the home and office of Joseph G. Taves (b 1940), a certified public accountant and real-estate broker, and of Jane A. Taves (b 1947), who owns this property and the abutting 46 Shank Painter Road. • Map • Assessor’s Online Database PDF ¶ Posted 2013-09-02
Members of the Meads family have owned this house since 1972, when they bought it from David E. and Linda A. Gonsalves. Francis J. Meads (b ±1927), a foreman, and Robert R. Meads Sr. (b ±1931), a plumber, were the first owners. More pictures and history»
(Formerly) Piggy’s Dance Bar
To see Piggy’s in the daylight is like staying past last call, when fluorescent lights suddenly drain a room of anything resembling magic. For magic is what suffused this unprepossessing building in the 1970s, say those who knew it. Straights danced with gays. Lisbons danced with Bravas. Fish cutters danced with matte cutters. Piggy’s offered an exuberant — often bacchanalian — cross-section of town.
Philip N. “Phil” Baiona (Bayon) must have paged through The Provincetown Advocate of 5 June 1952 with a mix of triumph and terror. Inside, the paper was reporting the “huge success” of opening night at the Weathering Heights Club, where Baiona — proprietor of the 12 Carver Street bar in Boston — was beginning his second season as manager, owner and chief attraction. The top story on the front page, however, sounded an ominous note: “Selectmen Clamp Down on Gay Spots With New Regulations to Curb Evils.” That crusade — to rid the town of homosexuals — would color almost every year of Baiona’s tenure at Weathering Heights, through the 1960s. Baiona turned out to be too much, too soon for the fundamentally conservative folk of Provincetown, and Weathering Heights was made a scapegoat of the people’s inchoate fears that their values and their livelihoods were under simultaneous assault by a bunch of “fairies” from Boston and New York. More pictures and history»
Pennies Wine and Spirits | Provincetown Laundry
This 4,000-square-foot commercial structure, was built in 2002 by Charles W. Silva and Helen T. Silva to replace the old Weathering Heights barn, 68 Shank Painter Road. Century 21 Shoreland Real Estate formerly had an office here. On the heavily planted hillock in front of the building, careful inspection will disclose the Weathering Heights sign. • Map • Assessor’s Online Database PDF ¶ Posted 2013-09-08
Where is Walker Evans when you need him? This all-but-abandoned store, vacant for at least five years, is almost worthy — in its photogenic decrepitude — of his Depression-era streetscapes. More pictures and history»
Not your typical commercial real-estate synergy: an epicurean diner and an appliance sales and service center. But this is Provincetown, where some of the unlikeliest bedfellows can be found. “Chach” is the nickname of Viola Donyle Briseno (b 1960), pictured here, who opened this restaurant in 2005 with Sharon L. Bowes (b 1959) in a space that was once the renowned Donut Shop. The property has been owned since 1984 by Michael S. Trovato (b 1955), who is the “Son” in “Joe & Son,” which also operates out of Wellfleet. The “Joe” is Joseph Trovato (b ±1924), a veteran of Land’s End Marine Supply, who established his own appliance servicing business in 1961. Michael bought this parcel in 1984 from the Costa family, operators of the Provincetown Golf Range, 73-89 Shank Painter Road. More pictures and history»
Pop culture has long been Shank Painter Road’s stock in trade. High culture, not so much. That is, until 2009, when Ewa Nogiec (b 1952), a photographer, painter, illustrator and graphic designer, opened Gallery Ehva in the principal commercial space at No. 74, owned by Charles W. Silva, whose other properties along the road begin at the Stop & Shop. Nogiec is a native of Wroclaw, Poland. She attended the Akademia Sztuk Pięknych w Poznaniu (Academy of Fine Arts in Poznan). By her own account, the conceptual artist Jarosław Kozłowski was her most important teacher. In 1981, the convulsive year in which martial law was imposed in Poland to curb the rapid growth of the independent trade union movement embodied by Lech Wałęsa, Nogiec learned about Provincetown while on a visit to New York. More pictures and history»
K is for Karen; Karen A. Silva (b 1963). C is for Custodio; Custodio Silva Jr. (b 1960). They own and run KC’s Animal Resort, a kennel that accepts dogs and cats for boarding. Custodio, the service manager at Frank A. Days & Sons, 9 Shank Painter Road, is a former chairman of the Board of Selectmen and a director of the Chamber of Commerce. He bought this property in 1998 from the Provincetown Golf Range, 73-89 Shank Painter. A few years ago, the Silvas changed their delightful but well-worn sign. Fortunately, they stuck with the hand-painted tradition, forgoing computer-generated logos. • Map • Assessor’s Online Database PDF ¶ Posted 2013-09
A 14-room dormitory, constructed in 2000, was renovated and reopened in 2012 by the developer Edward “Ted” Malone (b 1954), the founder and president of Community Housing Resource Inc., 36 Conwell Street. It now has 15 small apartments intended as affordable housing for single tenants. A commercial condominium on the ground floor is occupied by the Herring Cove Animal Hospital, which is affiliated with the Eastham Veterinary Hospital. Dr. John S. Kelley is the attending veterinarian here and owner of the unit. • Map • Assessor’s Online Database PDF, commercial unit • Assessor’s Online Database PDF, apartments ¶ Posted 2013-09-10
What you call this drive-in speaks to how long you’ve known Provincetown. If you think of it as Mac’s Market — an arm of Mac and Alex Hay’s ever-growing seafood empire — welcome, newcomer. If you think of it as Townsend’s — the short-lived second act of Chris Townsend’s well-loved Fishermen’s Wharf shack — you’ve been around. If you think of it as Clem & Ursie’s — a wildly popular spot run by Clem and Deb Silva — you’re approaching veteran status. But if you think of it as Dairy Land — Matt Costa’s roadside joint so memorably portrayed by Joel Meyerowitz — you’re a native. Or a silver-haired washashore.
Cape Tip Self Storage
The northernmost parcel of the old Provincetown Golf Range property (73-89 Shank Painter Road), this is still owned by the Costa family. The only thing that gave this bulky clapboard-sided storage container any scale were the windows. But they appear to be fake. One has already come off, revealing a blank wall beneath. • Map • Assessor’s Online Database PDF ¶ Posted 2013-09-14
Described by the Massachusetts Housing Partnership as the “largest complex of affordable rentals on the Outer Cape,” the $15 million Province Landing project opened in 2012 with 25 one-bedroom units, 21 two-bedroom units and four three-bedroom units in six buildings. It’s managed by and was developed by the nonprofit Community Builders of Boston under contract with the Town of Provincetown, and was designed by Durkee, Brown, Viveiros & Werenfels of Providence. More pictures and history»
How many Cumberland Farms have been depicted by Joel Meyerowitz? Perhaps only one, and this is it; though the photograph, in Cape Light, is so old that regular gas costs 59.9 cents a gallon. The property has been owned since 1971 by V.S.H. Realty, a Cumberland unit. For a kid who grew up in the ’50s, the Cumberland-Gulf relationship is like the tail wagging the dog: the convenience store chain owns the oil company — not the other way around. • Map • Assessor’s Online Database PDF ¶ Posted 2013-09-15
Ah, the miracles of modern banking! Without ever moving your account, you can be the customer of many different banks over time. The Provincetown branch of the TD Bank opened in about 1971 as the Provincetown branch of the Cape Cod Bank & Trust Company of South Yarmouth. More history»
Pilgrim Bark Park. See Route 6.