2020 Commercial 097


Former Union Wharf Condominium.

Beneath a multitude of pediments is a structure that was home for nearly two decades to Alice M. Foley (1932-2009), one of the brightest stars in the firmament of those who met AIDS head on and guided Provincetown through the epidemic. Foley came to town in 1971 to be a bartender, imagining that her days as a nurse were behind her. But she was drawn almost immediately to the work of the Drop-In Center, first at 146 Commercial Street and then at 6 Gosnold Street, which offered a free medical clinic; information on pregnancy, drug use and other health issues; a 24-hour suicide hotline; and counseling about the military draft (the Vietnam War was on), drug abuse, housing, employment and welfare benefits. But the Drop-In Center closed in 1980, just as AIDS arrived.

Foley had become one of two town nurses by 1983, when she; Preston Babbitt (1941-1990), the proprietor of the Rose & Crown; and others founded the Provincetown AIDS Support Group (now known as the AIDS Support Group of Cape Cod). Its services included case management, transportation assistance, food and nutrition programs, H.I.V. prevention and screening, and housing. In November 1993, when the support group had 140 clients and the town recorded at least one AIDS-related death every month, Foley stepped down as public health director of Provincetown to serve at the support group full time.

Foley House, at 214 Bradford Street, an assisted-living, congregate home for 10 otherwise homeless people living with H.I.V. and AIDS, is named in her honor.

In 1990, Foley bought into the Union Wharf Condominium, created by Nancy B. Logowitz in 1986. Foley demolished the historical warehouse that stood in the front yard of 97 Commercial Street in 1998, which composed Units 1 and 2 of the condo. After Foley’s death, Nancy C. Correia bought Units 3, 4, 5, and 6, and extinguished the condominium. The two studio apartments on the second floor have since been combined by the contractor Deborah Paine Inc, a project that won a silver award in 2012 from the Building and Remodeling Industry on Cape Cod.

¶ Last updated on 27 August 2018.




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