Coast Guard Station Provincetown boat house | Former Cape Cod Cold Storage cannery.
The demolition of the old West End freezer in the winter of 1974-1975 did not remove every trace of the Cape Cod Cold Storage complex. Besides the pilings of old Freeman’s Wharf, there is the modest brick building that has served since 1979 as a warehouse and boat house for the United States Coast Guard. It was constructed sometime in the 1930s, possibly incorporating an existing boat house on the site. The earliest reference that I’ve found to the building, on the Sanborn insurance map of 1938, refers to it being used for dog food manufacturing and canning. (Whiting are among the fish that many dogs will gladly eat.) Having been spared when the rest of the Cold Storage was razed, the cannery was reconstructed for the Coast Guard under plans by the architectural firm Symmes, Maini & McKee of Cambridge, now known as SMMA. Dick Mullin, the design supervisor of the project, told The Advocate that one whole wall of the old cannery had to be removed and the entire support system rebuilt.¹ When it was reopened in 1979, the building once again had two rooftop cupolas, but these have since been removed.
“Dog Food Mfg. & Canning” marks the building now known as the Coast Guard boat house, shown on the Sanborn map of 1938. From the Town of Provincetown Document Center, View No. 2849.
The cannery remained after the rest of the Cold Storage was razed. This photo, taken in March 1975 by Mary-Jo Avellar, comes from the Charlotte Collection on the Provincetown History Preservation Project website, Page 124.
The twin cupolas seen in this 1975 photo were restored in 1978-1979 but have since been removed. From the Cold Storage/Trap Industry Collection on the Provincetown History Preservation Project website, Page 5272.
North facade of the old cannery, seen in a 2011 photo by David W. Dunlap.
¶ Last updated on 3 December 2018.
125 Commercial Street on the Town Map.
Also at 125 Commercial Street:
Thumbnail image: Photo, 2010, by David W. Dunlap.
¹ “New Coast Guard Station Breathes Life Into Old West End,” The Provincetown Advocate Summer Guide, 14 June 1979.