Hancock Tower, Prudential Center are open
High-rise offices at the Hancock Tower and Prudential Center were open Tuesday morning, allowing thousands to get back to work in the aftermath of the explosions near the Boston Marathon finish line.
The buildings are owned by the real estate investment firm Boston Properties.
At the Hancock Tower, foot traffic was light in the lobby and some businesses did not open. Security staff in black suits stood alert across the lobby, along with their supervisors. Outside, a group of National Guards manned the corner of St. James and Clarendon streets, behind the metal barricades still up from Marathon Day.
Justin Reyno, a security manager at the Hancock, said there were no special precautions underway.
“The building is open at this point,” he said.
At a Dartmouth Street garage, security guards stopped cars as they entered, checking every car trunk.
The blocks surrounding the Hancock were full of media vans but also marathoners in their blue and gold jackets, some sporting their medals.
A young runner from Dublin peered at the Hancock. He finished the race in 3:58 and was well past the area of the blasts when they went off. Sean Gillen and his group of 10 runners all were safe, he said, and he was able to text his family in ireland quickly that he was alright.
“It’s shocking no matter where this happens in the world,” Gillen said.
He said this would not stop him from coming back to run the race again.
NStar has offices in the Back Bay. Those offices can be accessed through Huntington Avenue, a company spokeswoman said. Because it was unclear early Tuesday morning that the building would reopen, some NStar workers went to alternate locations.
Meanwhile, The Lenox Hotel reopened Tuesday morning so guests could return to their rooms and pack up their belongings. The Lenox is not yet open for business as usual.
The Mandarin Oriental Boston posted on Facebook that all guests and employees who were at the hotel “are safe and accounted for.” The management team is working with authorities to determine when it can re-open and will continue to provide updates as information becomes available.
The Charlesmark Hotel at 655 Bolyston St., whose lobby was covered in blood after the blast, also remains closed. Some guests have been relocated to the company’s other Boston property, Harborside Inn.
Mark Hagopian, operating partner at the Charlesmark Hotel, said he was on the outdoor patio about 35 feet from the first explosion as smoke covered the area and people started screaming and pushing their way through the back of the hotel. At first he thought it could have been fireworks or a gas explosion, but it became clear it was more serious after the second explosion.
“It was like a cannon,” he said. “We knew something was wrong.”
Two hotel managers began clearing fences so the medics could reach the victims as Hagopian said he took footage of the carnage.
“Runners were ripping their shirts off and making tourniquets,”said Hagopian, who saw people with legs blown off and other severe injuries outside the hotel. “There is blood all over the lobby.”
Hagopian said people streamed into the hotel, where about 130 guests were celebrating at a marathon party, crying and screaming.
“We’re deeply concerned that people are displaced,” he said. “People are e-mailing us that they need medication, and it’s very difficult.”
The Copley Square Hotel on Huntington Avenue is closed to the public on Tuesday along with its XHALE restaurant and only registered guests with valid identification will be allowed in the hotel, according to the company’s website.
“The safety and security of our guests and employees is paramount,” according to the online posting. “We have made changes to our normal day to day operations during this time.”
The Courtyard by Marriott Boston Copley Square is open to the public but is not permitting valet parking. Guests are being directed to park at the other Marriott property nearby.
The Fairmont Copley Plaza is only open to guests and employees at this time, and the hotel is checking room keys to ensure people are registered at the hotel, according to hotel spokeswoman Suzanne Wenz.
“All of our colleagues and guests are accounted for and safe, but it’s difficult to even get here at this point,” Wenz said. “But we are looking at everybody’s IDs coming in.”
The Shops at the Prudential Center is open but access is limited to the Huntington Avenue entrance. “Retailers can open at their discretion,” according to a posting on the company’s Facebook page.
Meanwhile, it is possible that some bank branches in the Back Bay will stay closed.
The Massachusetts Bankers Association is asking bank customers who normally conduct business in the Back Bay to check with their individual institutions to determine if specific branches will be open over the next few days. Customers should also ask for alternative branch locations.