Barricades on the National Mall.

Barricades on the National Mall.

Credit: Liz Gorman


The National Mall in Washington, D.C. this morning didn't look all that different from any other day. The clues were subtle: road blocks around the park area, closed concession stands, and signs on printer paper taped to the inside of the Smithsonian museum doors. And despite the news of a shutdown gracing the front page of every major newspaper, tourists were still milling about and snapping posed group shots.

A tourist poses in front of the closed Lincoln Memorial.

A tourist poses in front of the closed Lincoln Memorial.

Credit: Liz Gorman


Paul Sobczyk, visiting from Nebraska, was waiting outside the Museum of Natural History for it to open. "Every one of these is closed today? I did not know that, I thought they opened at 10 o'clock," he said. "I didn't know it would impact me this much, I really wanted to see these museums."

Anna and Ed Hawkins from West Virginia were walking along the mall. "I just think our elected officials ought to be doing their job instead of fighting among themselves like kids," Ed said.

Barricades arrived in trucks this morning to close off the monuments on the mall.

Barricades arrived in trucks this morning to close off the monuments on the mall.

Credit: Liz Gorman


D.C. resident Adrian Vaagenes brought his two young daughters down to the mall. "I think it’s pretty ridiculous...I can't believe that the Republicans would be willing to shut down the government over this," he said. "I’m pretty upset about it, but we figured that no one was going to be down here so it might be fun to come down and wander around a little bit."

  • Anna and Ed Hawkins from West Virginia.

    Credit: Liz Gorman

    Anna and Ed Hawkins from West Virginia.
  • National Park Service police were on hand to enforce closures.

    Credit: Liz Gorman

    National Park Service police were on hand to enforce closures.

Signs were posted on national monuments and parks, notifying the public of closures.

Signs were posted on national monuments and parks, notifying the public of closures.

Credit: Liz Gorman


Closing down the concession stands on the Mall.

Closing down the concession stands on the Mall.

Credit: Liz Gorman


A vendor takes his cash register with him until his concession stand can reopen after the shutdown.

A vendor takes his cash register with him until his concession stand can reopen after the shutdown.

Credit: Liz Gorman


The National Gallery of Art and other Smithsonian Institution museums are closed for the duration of the shutdown.

The National Gallery of Art and other Smithsonian Institution museums are closed for the duration of the shutdown.

Credit: Liz Gorman


A young visitor to the National Mall expresses her displeasure at the lack of open destinations.

A young visitor to the National Mall expresses her displeasure at the lack of open destinations.

Credit: Liz Gorman


The National Zoo is also closed as part of the shutdown, but essential employees will still report to work to care for the animals.

The National Zoo is also closed as part of the shutdown, but essential employees will still report to work to care for the animals.

Credit: Liz Gorman