PHOTO: Philadelphia’s iconic Independence National Historic Park is not as open as it once was. (Photo via Flickr/Norman Maddeaux)
Philadelphia is a city rich in history and culture. It boasts many locations that should be first on any tour of our country’s treasured past.
You just might want to wait to visit.
PennLive.com reports a federal spending freeze has all but closed shop on some of the sites you might expect to frequent on a trip to Philly’s beloved Independence National Historic Park.
Unfortunately, that location has had to shutter many of its amenities.
The report explains: “The reason, according to the American Federation of Government Employees, is the National Park Service being ‘severely understaffed’ as a result of President Donald Trump's hiring freeze of federal employees.”
More specifically, you will find the following locations throughout the area closed: Franklin Printing Office, Declaration House, Fragment Museum, New Hall Military Museum, Todd House, Bishop White House and Thaddeus Kosciuszko House.
The report also notes that nearby bathrooms will be closed, which might mean quite the traffic jam in restrooms at the Independence Visitor Center.
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The park’s website doesn’t as yet highlight these closures. It merely offers an alert on the bathroom situation: “The restroom facility at 5th and Chestnut Streets will be closed beginning January 1, 2017. Please use the public restrooms in the Independence Visitor Center at 6th and Market Streets.”
As for when you can expect the previously listed venues to join Independence Hall, the Benjamin Franklin Museum and Carpenters' Hall on the list of places that are actually open, it’s anyone’s guess.
As noted, the Director of the Office of Management and Budget has 90 days from January 22 to make a decision on eliminating costs.
Until then, you may have to see some historic locales through closed doors.