PAST Logo Palo Alto Stanford Heritage

Home Architects & Builders  Holiday House Tour Newsletters Walking Tours
About PAST Centennial Houses INVENTORY Preservation Awards Contact PAST
Advocacy History and Architecture Articles   Master Index to Houses Resources  

Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

270 Channing Avenue

270 Channing 270 Channing
Photo taken in 1978. Photo taken June 22, 2016

The following is from the Historic Buildings Inventory as revised in 1985:

Physical appearance:

This two–story house is a simple expression of Queen Anne styling. The plain board fascia, the double story bay windw, the turned porch columns, and the fishscale shingle patterns enrich an otherwise plain square box. It was rehabilitated in 1984 by the Palo Alto Medical Foundation.


Soren H. Nissen, a native of Denmark who came to Palo Alto in 1893, built a cottage at the rear of the lot (still standing in 1979) where his children Herman and Carmen were born. Soon after, the houses at 264 and 270 Charming were added, and both remained in the Nissen family until late 1983. Soren Nissen worked as a gardener at Stanford and for the Hoovers. It was the Nissen family home from 1905 to 1983; it was last occupied by Carmen E. (Nissen) and Frank Pascoe (1944–1978). The Palo Alto Medical Foundation tne purchased the properties.


The following is from the Centennial Buildings Tour, prepared by The City of Palo Alto Historic Resources Board for the Centennial Building Celebration, April 16, 1994. The houses included on the tour were all identified as at least 100 years old.

This vernacular cottage is a wonderful example of the typical rural dwelling of the era. Horses and cows grazed in surrounding fields. It was built for Angelo Boitano, who had lived in Mayfield since the mid-1870s. the first floor is lifted well off the ground to allow for a commodious wine cellar.

entry map
Centennial plaque on stair riser Location map

Built in 1905, it is a Category 4 on the Inventory. The builder was George Mosher. The property measures 56 by 112.5 feet.

Sources: Palo Alto City Directories; Palo Alto Times 1/5/1905, 6/15/1905; interview 1983, Nelson B. Nissen


FaceBook f

E-mail us at either or

PAST Logo Palo Alto Stanford Heritage—Dedicated to the preservation of Palo Alto's historic buildings.