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Palo Alto Historic Buildings Inventory

255 Lytton Avenue; originally 265 Lytton Avenue

Tinney Funeral Home / Gatehouse Restaurant


old photo 2015 photo
1926 photo of Tinney Funeral Home Photo taken October 11, 2015


The following is from the Historic Buildings Inventory as revised in 1986:

Physical appearance for 255–265 Lytton before recent conversion from the Gatehouse Restaurant:   Much of the original structure dominates the site. The front entryway has been substantially altered. Very symmetrical façade, two-story stucco. A simple cornice and a two-foot high (recessed) parapet wall form the cap for this structure. Two large elliptical arched windows, divided by mullions at quarter-points dominate the front façade. Two double 4x4 sash windows occur at the upper floors above these windows. A 5x10 window, again with mullions at the upper floors above these windows. A 5x10 window, again with mullions at quarter-points and single-hung sash windows are centered in the upstairs over the entryway.

This building appears to be in very good condition. The elliptical arched windows are divided by three 16" square lights at each of the side lights. A fourth occurs at the springline. The large central window of the elliptical arched windows has a horizontal mullion at the springline with the top being divided into three equal lights.

The north façade has been substantially altered, a series of arch windows and doors lead out onto a patio. The south façade has also been altered, and an exterior passageway connects with two new structures to the south. (1986)

Significance:  The house that stood originally at 255 Lytton Avenue was built about 1896 for W. W. Truesdale as rental property. That at 265 Lytton, dating circa 1905/06, became the residence of the George W. Tinney family in 1912; he and his sons Francis and Ray were prominent in civic affairs. The Tinney house was altered in minor details in 1918.

In 1925/26 the present structure was built as the Tinney & Sons mortuary (to 1957). After a brief period of vacancy it was occupied (1961 to 1974) by a missionary society. It was remodeled by Webster Square Associates as the Gatehouse restaurant in 1975.

Historic photos courtesy Jerry Tinney.


opening day news coverage recent photo
265 old car
ambulance front
from west door
grotto map
Grotto area  Location map

This structure was built in 1926 and is a Category 4 on the Historic Buildings Inventory. The architect was Roy Heald and the original builder was L. A. Bachelder and 1950 remodeling was done by W. P. Goodenough and that in 1984 by Richard Elmore. The property measures 45 by 112.5 feet.

Sources: Palo Alto City Directories; Palo Alto Times 1/3/08, 1/2/18, 1/2/19, 2/18/25, 5/5/26 (illustrated), 10/2/29, 10/14/29, 11/9/29, 8/3/41, 5/5/47, 11/24/50; Palo Alto Assessor's Book, 1896-1897; Palo Alto Building Department file


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