Mary Van's 'This Old House' Bed and Breakfast

12 Plainfield Street, Lexington, Massachusetts 02421
Innkeeper(s): Mary Van Sinek
  • Introduction

    Mary Van's My Old House Bed and Breakfast - Lexington, MassachusettsLexington, Massachusetts, is a town familiar to Americans across the nation as its name is passed from generation to generation through stories depicting our country's birth. Amidst this town teeming with history, we find a charming Bed and Breakfast with an interesting claim of its own. Although the original house was built in 1909, Mary Van's "My Old House" Bed and Breakfast is not called an "Old House" for its years. The home's young addition was the featured project on the television series, This Old House, and lasted through all twenty-six episodes of the season.

    The bold project included designing and constructing a new master bedroom and bathroom, kitchen, an adjacent family room, basement, garage, whole-house audio system personally installed by Dr. Bose, and two outdoor decks. One of the decks was constructed of wood outside the kitchen and the other of granite accompanied by a welcoming goldfish pond.

    Mary Van's "My Old House" Bed and Breakfast offers three guest rooms with private baths, air conditioning, and cable TV.

    Mary Van's 'This Old House' Bed and Breakfast-Reading nookLocated only eleven miles from Boston, Mary Van's "My Old House" Bed and Breakfast remains nestled in one of Boston's most beautiful and historical suburbs. The Inn is two blocks from the scenic Minuteman Bikeway and only minutes from Lexington's historic museums and parks. Guests enjoy easy access to the best of two worlds with the comforting charm of peaceful Lexington along with the cosmopolitan life of vibrant Boston.

    Whether you are an independent city explorer or just want to enjoy the tranquility of a charming historic town, our doors are always open to welcome you!

  • Insider's Info

    Travelers are always looking for memorable and relaxing experiences. Let’s discover more through the words of our innkeepers. Many thanks to Mary Van Sinek for sharing her own secrets with!
    Why do most travelers stay at your inn?

    Many guests are excited to be staying in this house as avid watchers of TOH TV.

    What are you best known for? What makes your inn unique? What do you love most about your inn?

    I am best known for the fact that "This Old House" on TV added a 2000 sq. ft addition onto my 1909 house.

    If someone has never been to your city, what is the #1 reason to come visit?

    Lexington is the birthplace of liberty and has a history dating to 1775 and before.

    What’s the best compliment you have ever received about the inn?

    No Comment

    What’s the best kept secret about the area?

    No Comment

    If a traveler is staying at your inn for 4 nights, what should he/she do in the area?

    Each year we have a parade and historic tours celebrating April 18,1775. Our tours begin in April and run through October. Three historic houses are open and if you take the trolley tour, one gets free passes to the houses.

    Is there anything within walking distance of your inn?

    There is a bike path which runs into Boston. Many people rent bicycles and make the trip. My private home, which is the bed and breakfast, is only 1 1/2 miles from town. The bike path is only one block from my house making for an easy walk into town.

    What is your favorite restaurant/food in the area?

    In our town and neighboring towns there are many wonderful restaurants.

    Any good area guides/websites that travelers could reference?

    To plan a trip to Lexington and the surrounding areas the Visitor's Center is a great help.

    How many rooms does your inn have?

    Although I have 5 bedrooms, only three are designated for bed and breakfast.

    Do you accept pets?

    I have two cocker spaniels and I welcome guest with their dogs.

  • This Old House

    Mary Van's 'This Old House' Bed and Breakfast-BedroomThe home's addition was the featured project on the television series, This Old House, and lasted through all twenty-six episodes of the season.

    The spring of 1988 saw us joining up with homeowners Mary Van and Jim Sinek to build an addition onto their home in Lexington, Massachusetts. The project became known as the "B&B job," since one major component was adding three extra bedrooms and baths for the Sineks to rent out as bed-and-breakfast accommodations. Another crucial aspect was creating an in-law's suite for Mary Van's elderly mother, complete with handicapped-accessible bedroom and bath.

    When Jim's employer relocated the couple to Massachusetts from Rochester, New York, they found that real estate prices in the metropolitan Boston area had "gone through the roof", even for modest homes. Jim, an engineer, and Mary-Van, a veteran do-it-yourselfer, purchased the house with the goal of making the housing help to pay for itself by renting out one unit (or converting it into a condominium) and generating additional income from the bed-and-breakfast operation.

    The house they bought, built in 1909, was a well-kept, wood-frame, side-by-side two-family residence on a generous corner lot. Designer Jock Gifford of Design Associates drew up the addition in a style sympathetic to the existing building; its 2,400 square feet doubled the existing square-footage of one of the house's units.