Alden 028

(October 2012)

In 2006, the architect Neal Kimball applied to the Historic District Commission, on behalf of the owners Mitchell Hollander and Robert Purinton, for permission to demolish an “existing, structurally compromised, one-story, non-conforming dwelling and construct a new two-story dwelling with similar design and slightly larger footprint.” The contrast between the two — and what each says about the changing face of Alden Street — could not be much greater. Like the adjacent parcel at No. 30, this property was owned for many years by members of the Lopes family; most recently Maurice H. Lopes (b ±1919). An electrician by trade, Lopes also seems to have been a restlessly inventive entrepreneur in the 1940s and ’50s. Lopes tirelessly promoted the idea of building a roller-skating rink downtown and, much more remarkably, buying a camel that visitors could hire to take them out into the dunes on safari. Lacking the $1,200 purchase price for a new beast (Lopes wasn’t interested in a used camel), he persuaded Harry Kemp to approach the R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company about some kind of promotional tie-in and sponsorship. “But Harry, unaccustomed to writing prose, didn’t get his idea across,” The Advocate reported on 2 June 1960, “and the Reynolds outfit replied that they were in the business of getting rid of Camels, not acquiring more.”

In the mid-1990s, this was the home of Peter E. Souza (b ±1940), an environmental activist who founded Earth First Provincetown and the Provincetown Environmental Action Corps and then served for a few tumultuous months as a selectman in 1995.

¶ Last updated on 28 October 2012.

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