Although it is nestled closely to the Red Inn, the Beach Box house originally had a much stronger link across Commercial Street and up Gull Hill to Land’s End Inn at 22 Commercial Street. This was the home of Irene W. Bunker, the owner who was responsible for transforming the old Higgins bungalow at the top of the hill into the Lands End Tea Room in June 1932. Bunker started by serving lunch, tea and light dinners on the porch, in the dining rooms and in the tower.
The Buckler family sold the house in 1945 to Griswold Kellogg Green and his wife, Francis Scott Green, of New York. They owned it for eight years until selling it to Col. Richard A. Magee and his wife, Nelle C. Magee. The colonel, an aviator in World War I who rose to his rank in the Army Air Force during World War II, was most closely associated with Cobb Farm in Truro, owned by his wife’s family. But the couple also owned this home in the 1950s. They were known for their benefactions and helped acquire the lower Cape’s first ambulance, The Advocate said. Among their renters over the years were the artist Nanno de Groot, who spent the summer of 1953 here, a decade before he and his wife Pat completed their distinctive studio-home at 507 Commercial.
The Abare family were the next owners, followed by Donald F. Winter (1941-2014), a chairman of the Back Bay Architectural Commission in Boston and a vice chairman and legal counsel to the Boston Ballet Company, and his spouse, Richard diFrummolo (1945-2007), a supporter of the Provincetown Theater and board member of the Provincetown Repertory Theater.
The owners since 2010 have been Kathleen A. Cote, former chief executive officer of WorldPort Communications, and her partner, T. Kim Cromwell, the founder of Cromwell Consulting.
¶ Adapted from Building Provincetown (2015).
T. Kim Cromwell wrote on 9 May 2012: We have some of the historic records associated with the house. Over the course of the last two years, we have renovated the house completely, while also keeping true to the original style and structure. Donald Winter was the previous owner. Kathleen Cote and I are the current owners.
Joe Collins wrote on 2 March 2014: Donald Winter and Richard diFrummolo lived at 19 Commercial Street for nearly 20 years. Both of them were generous supporters of the arts in Provincetown, including not only the Fine Arts Work Center and the Provincetown Theater, but also the Provincetown Art Association and Museum and (to a lesser degree) the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum. Donald now lives in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. [He died one month after this note was written.] Richard’s name and his support of the Norma Holt wharf exhibit came up after the recent passing of Norma Holt.