28 Alden Street

Former Cape End Laundry, 28 Alden Street. [2004, Massachusetts Historical Commission]

Former Cape End Laundry. Three different contemporary parcels, under three different owners, can trace their origins to the Facha-Lopes property. Three generations of this family owned the undivided Alden Street frontage for the better part of a century: Frances Tiadora (Silva) Facha and her husband, Frank Roderick Facha Sr.; their daughter, Mary (Facha) Lopes, and her husband, Manuel J. Lopes; and the Lopeses’ son, Maurice Henry Lopes.

Frank Facha was Azorean by birth, as was Frances, who was born on Pico and came to Provincetown at the age of 18. Their daughter Mary was graduated from Provincetown High School and, in 1914, was wed at the Church of St. Peter the Apostle to Manuel Lopes, a fisherman from Olhao, Portugal. As late as 1946, the only structure on the property was the main house at the crest of the hillock, which remains the principal architectural feature today.¹

After World War II, the family built a one-story utilitarian structure on the south side of the lot. This came to have the address of 28 Alden Street after the parcel was subdivided, but was designated No. 30 in the 1950s, when it was the Cape End Laundry, run by the Lopeses and by Jimmy Carter. (Not the future president, though he did spend time in Provincetown in the ’50s.)

Cape End had 14 washing machines made by Bendix Home Appliances of South Bend, Ind. It would charge 60 cents for nine pounds of wet wash, but you could save a dime by doing it yourself. The laundry also offered a “fresh air drying service,” according to a 1950 ad in the New Beacon

That sounds to my ears a lot like “clothesline.”

After the laundry was modified as a dwelling, it was home for a time in the mid-1990s to the environmental activist Peter E. Souza.

Just six months before Maurice Lopes died in 1996, he sold the large property to Jane E. Gildersleeve and David R. Curtis, of Ironia, N.J., for $235,000. Curtis and Gildersleeve then divided the parcel into three lots: 28 Alden Street, with the old laundry building; 30 Alden Street, with the main house; and 32 Alden Street, unimproved.³

Gildersleeve and Curtis sold 28 Alden Street in 1997 to Mitchell G. Hollander of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., and Robert Purinton of Roxbury. On their behalf, the architect Neal Kimball applied in 2006 to the Historic District Commission for permission to demolish the “structurally compromised, one-story, non-conforming dwelling” and construct a new two-story house in its place “with similar design and slightly larger footprint.”

Advertisement in the New Beacon of 5 July 1950. The “Infirmary” was the municipal home for the poor, at 26 Alden Street. [Community History Archive / Provincetown Public Library]

The original outline of the Facha-Lopes homestead superimposed on contemporary property boundaries. The green is Motta Field. [Town Map]

Charlou Nelson Rogel wrote on 6 April 2019: I don’t remember Peter Souza living there, but that doesn’t mean that he didn’t live there. Peter’s parents lived next door. I do remember Maurice Lopes having a laundromat in this building, I believe it was in the 1950s.

28 Alden Street on the Town Map, showing property lines.

Also at this address


In memoriam

• Manuel J. Lopes (1889-1972)

Find a Grave Memorial No. 193105890.

• Mary (Facha) Lopes (1893-1979)

Find a Grave Memorial No. 193105891.

• Maurice Henry Lopes (1918-1996)

Find a Grave Memorial No. 107076324.

¹ “Plan of Land in Provincetown Belonging to Mrs. Mary F. Lopes,” 1946, Registry Plan Book 76, Page 17, Barnstable County Registry of Deeds.

² Advertisement, New Beacon, 5 July 1950, Page 3.

³ “Plan of Land in Provincetown as Surveyed for David R. Curtis & Jane E. Gildersleeve,” August 1996, Registry Plan Book 531, Page 22, Barnstable County Registry of Deeds.

¶ Last updated on 3 December 2021.

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