Strong Villages – Dennis Village – Power Of Ten

I believe no one would question that Dennis Village is a strong village.  It has a unique identification as a part of Old Cape Cod.  Its attractions promote an inter-relationship that allows its special niche businesses to flourish.  These niche businesses are complemented by services that are essential to the health of the village.  Dennis Village includes all of the things that the Power of Ten has suggested to be necessary to support a strong village.  It has a library, a church, playground, post office, active meeting hall, theater, museum, grocery store and numerous places to eat or stay.  The businesses in Dennis Village serve both the needs of the local year-round residents as well as a very loyal group of visitors who return to the village year after year. 

One special aspect of Dennis Village, one that holds the village together, is that the village is located within the Old King’s Highway Historic District.  The Old King’s Highway Historic District Commission is charged with protecting the visual character of the village.  As such, they review most building improvement plans to ensure that the structural improvements will protect the look of Old Cape Cod in the village.

 The following discussion highlights some of the strengths of Dennis Village.

Dennis Memorial Library

The Power of Ten suggests that a strong village must have a strong central focus, including an active library and playground.  Dennis Village is well served by the Dennis Memorial Library which, as with the others discussed in Dennisport and West Dennis provides many necessary activities for people of all ages.  The Dennis Memorial Library includes a recent addition, which provided increased space for its collection as well as meeting facilities.

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Parks and Playgrounds

Dennis Village has several parks and playgrounds.  In the center of the village is a small town green adjacent to the Dennis Union Church.  This green contains a bandstand and is the focus of many activities during the warmer months of the year.  Along the frontage of the Dennis Village Cemetery, running west from the town green, is a green belt that connects the center to a park and playground area adjacent to the Nobscusset Road and Route 6A  intersection.  This area includes an open area for free play (often seen hosting a game of wiffle ball in the summer), a playground and numerous benches.  These parks have proven to be quite popular to both the year round and seasonal population of the Village.

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Carleton Hall

Carleton Hall provides one of two governmental focal points in Dennis Village.  Carleton Hall is a historic building which serves to host activities, both private and public through-out the year.  A sampling of activities in Carleton Hall include weddings, Girls Scouts, Weight Watchers, Yoga Classes, Dance Classes, Private Clubs, as well as occasional governmental meetings.

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Dennis Union Church

Dennis Union Church provides a major focal point in the village.  Besides weekly services, the church provides a location for local charitable auctions, hosts a series of theatrical productions, community groups, movie nights, musical productions and, on its grounds, hosts various art shows.  The Dennis Union Church also illustrates how the past can accommodate the future by adding photovoltaic solar cells to its rooftop.

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U.S. Post Office

As with the other two villages highlighted in this series, Dennis Village is served by an active village post office.  The Dennis Village Post Office is truly unique as it continues to be located in a sidewalk accessible location!  This back of the sidewalk location is ideal to generating foot traffic to and from the post office and nearby businesses.  Unlike the Dennisport and West Dennis post offices, which clearly promote automobile access first, this post office provides a pedestrian first, village first appearance.

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Dennis Fire Station #2

A second town presence in Dennis Village is Dennis Fire Station #2.  This station provides another connection between the village and the community at large, providing a 24/7 presence for the town in the village.

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On the private side, there are also numerous attractions that bring people to Dennis Village.  The following is a brief discussion of some of these attractions that add to the Power of Ten in Dennis Village.

Dennis Village Artists

It is impossible to discuss the power of Dennis Village without first mentioning the artists.  Dennis Village is a cultural arts center.  There are dozens of local artists located within the village, all of whom cross-fertilize the local market.  If one artist in Dennis Village does not fit your style, step next door, you will probably be pleased with what you find there.  It is impossible to identify all the village artists and do them justice in this post.  I would strongly encourage you to visit the following to learn more about the artists of Dennis Village

Dennis Village Art Walk

Happenings in the Dennis Arts Community

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Restaurants

Dennis Village also hosts several fine places to eat.  Restaurants, draw people to a location, and encourage them to stay awhile.  Each of the facilities provides a different ambiance, and several provide for both indoor and outdoor eating arrangements.  These restaurants range from places that simply provide coffee and necessary accompaniments, to sandwich shops and sit-down meals. These restaurants are scattered around the village providing opportunities to eat regardless of where in the village you may be. 

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Dennis Public Market

Finally, any strong village needs a place to purchase the necessities of living.  Specifically a village grocery store.  Dennis Village is served in this capacity by the Dennis Public Market.  The Dennis Public Market illustrates the Old Cape Cod village grocer.  It serves the needs of the year-round and the seasonal residents.  It allows many to purchase food items without even needing to hop into an automobile.  As such the Dennis Public Market is clearly an anchor to Dennis Village.

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The Cape Cod Center for the Arts

The final anchor, and the largest single draw of visitors to Dennis Village is The Cape Cod Center for the Arts.  This property includes the Cape Cinema, Cape Playhouse, Cape Cod Museum of Art and Center Stage Cafe.  The Center for the Arts provides a level of marketing that is not present in any other village in Dennis.  As such it is a major force in bringing people to Dennis Village and keeping them here.

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There are so many other attractions in Dennis Village, the following photos provide just a small a sampling of what the village has to offer.

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