Adam Peck Gallery | Henrique Condominium (Unit 2).
The Adam Peck Gallery — owned and run by Adam Peck, a painter, sculptor, and architect, and Marian Peck, a photographer, to whom he is married — moved here in 2017 from 137 Commercial Street. Older-timers will remember this place as a First National Store, a grocery chain that once operated three stores in town, here and at 312 Commercial Street (now the Governor Bradford) and 383 Commercial Street (now Kidstuff). The storefront space at No. 142 is one of four units composing the Henrique Condominium, which was established in 2006 by Cathleen Cameron (Cook) Henrique, who continues to own the commercial unit.
Gauging from the Sanborn street atlases, the commercial frontage was added in the front yard of a much older house along Montello Street some time between 1919 and 1929. It showed up in a 1931 guide book as Rosa’s Variety Store. That would be Mary Augusta (Ferreira) Roza (1886-1958) and her husband, Francisco Gracia “Frank” Roza (1876-1933), both natives of the Azores, whose surname was frequently rendered “Rosa.” The Rozas acquired this property in 1925 from John and Mary Ferreira.
David W. Dunlap (2011).
An advertisement in The Advocate on 23 May 1957, a year before the 142 Commercial Street store closed for good.
By 1931, for certain, First National, based in Somerville, had opened a West End branch in this space. The store was managed by Edward Tasha “Blue” Enos (1897-1954), a Navy veteran of World War I, and a Coast Guard veteran, too. He was such a well-established presence here that the store was frequently referred to simply as Blue’s.¹ During the Great Depression, First National Stores Inc. made contributions of food orders to the Public Welfare Department to assist in unemployment relief work. But something must have gone awry in the program, as the Town later found itself having to reimburse the store at 142 Commercial Street for $750.65 in unpaid bills racked up by the welfare agency between 1934 and 1940 (the equivalent of more than $13,000 today).²
Blue Enos retired in ill health in 1941 and was succeeded as manager by John “Midgie” Fields. In 1952, the widow Roza transferred the 142 Commercial Street property to her daughter Leah Gracie (Roza) Henrique (1911-1992), the then-estranged wife of Anthony Henrique (1908-1970), a fisherman. The store itself succumbed in February 1958. (Long after leaving Provincetown, the First National Store chain, known by the acronym Finast, was gobbled up by the Dutch food conglomerate Ahold Delhaize, which also owns Stop & Shop. So, in a tortuous kind of corporate provenance, you could almost say this store was a forerunner of the supermarket on Shank Painter Road.)
The Portuguese-American Civic League — in which Leah Henrique played an active role — was the next tenant in this space, beginning in 1960. “They are starting with only four walls,” The Advocate reported, “and everything is needed, from a cooking stove in the kitchen to a piano in the lounge room. They are asking people in town to hunt in their cellars, attics, sheds, or barns for any kind of chairs, both straight and easy, kitchen utensils, a refrigerator, tables. They will appreciate any donation to their new club room, whether it is first-, second-, or even third hand.”³
Seventy-eight members gathered on 10 April 1960 to inaugurate the new clubhouse. They were joined by the supreme president of P.A.C.L., Manuel DeMattos, from Rehoboth; the town manager; and four selectmen, one of whom — Anthony Tarvers — was voted into the league during the meeting. Ten new members were also formally installed. After the meeting, a buffet supper was served. Favas, of course, were on the menu.
Two weeks later, a “well chaperoned” teen-age record hop was held at the clubhouse. At its 1960 Christmas party for the children and grandchildren of members, adults dropped off presents in advance that Santa Claus could hand out as he spoke with the youngsters one by one. Civic gatherings and whist parties were commonplace.
Leah Henrique transferred the property in 1989 to her son Francis Michael “Moon” Henrique (1945-2002), best remembered in town as a bartender at the Old Colony Tap, the Surf Club, and the Fo’csle, and as a Little League baseball coach. Cathleen Henrique, his wife, converted the property into a condo in 2006, four years after Moon died.
At the turn of the 21st century, P. J. Layng and Maryann McCarthy had their Roots Furniture and Rug Gallery here, while Roots for the Home and Garden did business at 368 Commercial Street. (Roots, under different owners, is now at 193 Commercial Street.)
A 2001 calling card for P. J. Layng’s Roots store.
In 2010, his first year at 142 Commercial, Michael Robert del Visco placed this ad in the Provincetown Art Guide for his MDV3 Gallery and Studio.
Del Visco also dealt in antiques — “QUE.” Photo by David W. Dunlap (2011).
The commercial front of 142 Commercial as the MDV3 Gallery and Studio. The sign to the right of the door said that the artist’s hours were 4 to 8 p.m. David W. Dunlap (2011).
Adam Peck’s advertisement in the Provincetown Art Guide in 2017, his first at 142 Commercial Street.
Marian and Adam Peck, in a 2018 photo by David W. Dunlap.
Inside the Adam Peck Gallery in June 2018. Visible through the window at left is 141 Commercial Street.
The exterior of 142 Commercial Street as the Adam Peck Gallery. David W. Dunlap (2018).
Roots was followed for several years in the early 2000s by a popular eclectic antiques store, Kathleen & Company, run by Kathleen Keenan Snow. The artist Michael Robert del Visco opened the MDV3 Gallery and Studio at 142 Commercial in 2010, specifically to show his acrylics, collages, and large-scale oil paintings. He invited the public to watch him work in his studio here.
After MDV3 closed in 2016, the Pecks moved their gallery here. Adam Peck’s artistic signature is a half-Cape house rendered as five rectangular planes suspended in space: the door, flanking windows, the roof and a red chimney. The front wall is only implicit. Stare at this simple composition only briefly, and you’ll find a face staring back at you. “For me,” Peck has written, “it represents the great mystery of something that is very integral to what we consider civilized life — a house, a habitation, a shelter. The house has a face, it has a facade, and like all things at its most reduced, it is symmetrical.”
¶ Last updated on 8 April 2019.
142 Commercial Street on the Town Map.
Also at 142 Commercial Street:
Thumbnail image: Photo, 2011, by David W. Dunlap.
For further reading online
• Edward Tasha “Blue” Enos (1897-1954)
Find a Grave Memorial No. 124948655.
• Francis Michael “Moon” Henrique (1945-2002)
Find a Grave Memorial No. 192292804.
• Leah Gracie (Roza) Henrique (1911-1992)
Find a Grave Memorial No. 106334257.
• Adam Peck Gallery
Adam Peck Gallery website.
• Roots Home and Garden
Roots Home and Garden website.
• Francisco Gracia “Frank” Roza (1876-1933)
Find a Grave Memorial No. 196068379.
• Mary Augusta (Ferreira) Roza (1886-1958)
Find a Grave Memorial No. 128970365.
¹ “To Fellows and Friends, Afar & Abroad,” The Provincetown Advocate, 20 February 1958, Page 1.
² Town Meeting Warrant, published in Town Records and Reports of the Town Officers of Provincetown, Mass., for the Year Ending December 31, 1941.
³ “League Finds Meeting Place,” The Provincetown Advocate, 25 February 1960.