Barricades on the National Mall.
Credit: Liz Gorman

Barricades on the National Mall.


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.
Credit: Liz Gorman

A tourist poses in front of the closed Lincoln Memorial.


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.
Credit: Liz Gorman

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


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.
Credit: Liz Gorman

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


Closing down the concession stands on the Mall.
Credit: Liz Gorman

Closing down the concession stands on the Mall.


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

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


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

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


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

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


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

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