A community project hosted at Northeastern University

WBUR Oral History Project: Mark Hagopian


Countless lives were affected by the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and their aftermath. The WBUR Oral History Project collects stories from individuals whose lives were immediately and irrevocably changed by these events. Thanks to the generous sponsorship of WBUR, our team of oral historians, and the participation of these interview subjects, Our Marathon has tried to ensure that these stories are not forgotten. We believe that these stories matter, and that they demonstrate the ways historical events transform the lives of the people who lived through them.

Oral historians Jayne K. Guberman, Ph.D., and Joanna Shea O'Brien conducted the interviews for this project. Oral History Project Manager Kristi Girdharry, Our Marathon Project Co-Director Jim McGrath, and Community Outreach Lead Joanne DeCaro recorded the interviews and provided research assistance and post-interview processing. McGrath and Our Marathon Audio Technician Ryan McDonough provided sound editing and processing for all of the interviews and clips.

Mark Hagopian grew up in Back Bay and is the owner of two independent Boston hotels. His boutique hotel, the Charlesmark, is on Boylston Street right by the finish line, and it is booked a year in advance by marathoners every year. The hotel also hosts parties for runners and guests. In his oral history, Mark discusses his professional background and what led him to hotel ownership, his love of Boston, his personal experience running the Boston Marathon four times, and what marathon day is typically like every year. Mark describes the bomb going off in front of Marathon Sports and how he and the guests reacted, what it looked like, and what they did in the immediate aftermath and the days that followed. He details how long it took for the hotel to be opened again and how he and his managers helped guests locked out of the Charlesmark cope by getting them back into the hotel, rebooking their rooms, or shipping their bags back to them. He discusses the financial impact on his business as well as the impact on his staff.

Because the hotel was shut down for nine days, and he was responsible for his staff’s salaries during that time, Mark is able to share an important perspective of how Boylston Street businesses were affected by the bombings.


Mark Hagopian (Interview Subject), Joanna Shea O'Brien (Oral Historian), Kristi Girdharry (Recorder), Ryan McDonough (Sound Editing and Processing)


WBUR Oral History Project



Permission must be obtained to publish reproductions or quotations beyond "fair use." Requests for permission to publish quotations should be addressed to Our Marathon (marathon@neu.edu) and should include identification of the specific passages to be quoted, anticipated use of the passages, and identification of the user. Commercial use of content is prohibited. It is the responsibility of the researcher to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyrights.




Joanna Shea O'Brien


Marc Hagopian


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