Politics & Government
6:31 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Boston Landmarks Shuttered During Federal Government Shutdown

A sign posted on the door of the Great Hall at Faneuil Hall.
Credit Ibby Caputo / WGBH News

Several key landmarks of the nation’s founding were closed Tuesday in Boston because of the federal government shutdown.

At Faneuil Hall, tourists were buying souvenirs in the privately owned gift shop, but they were locked out of the actual attraction — the Great Hall, sometimes called the “Cradle of Freedom.” A sign posted on the double doors leading to it read, “Due to federal shutdown the Great Hall is closed. Sorry for any inconvenience.”

The inconvenience of closed landmarks did not extend to privately owned historic sites along the freedom trail, but main attractions like the USS Constitution and the Bunker Hill Monument would have to be skipped by tourists for the foreseeable future.

"The shutdown of the great American system, is it?" said Andrew Howell, who traveled to Boston from Norfolk, England, with his family. "We traveled three-and-a-half thousand miles to find it all shut up. Terrible, isn’t it?"

As Howell talks about his disappointment, National Parks Service workers rush to remove pamphlets and schedules for guided tours in the visitor center of Faneuil Hall.

"We just have our orders; we have things we have to do," said Julia Mize, of the U.S. National Park Service.

The process is chaotic. Two of the park rangers try to wheel a shelf with pamphlets into the elevator, but it doesn’t fit, so they stack them in boxes instead.

"We have to get these and leave," Mize said.

"I’m going as fast as I can," said another ranger.

How fast the pamphlets will be returned remains uncertain.

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