SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Columbus Day weekend has brought a lot of tourists to Western Massachusetts, but they aren't able to see all the sites they may have intended to see.
The museums in downtown Springfield are usually bustling with people looking to learn and contemplate fine art, science, and history during the holiday weekend. The government shutdown has federally run sites like the Springfield Armory closed indefinitely. Making it disappointing for people that came to visit the museum during the Columbus Day weekend.
Sue Heller of Enfield, Connecticut went on an architectural tour of downtown Springfield on Saturday starting at the Springfield Museums Quadrangle, which remained open because they are run by the city. She was disappointed she couldn't visit the federally run Armory.
"I would have loved to have gone to the Armory today because that’s where the Olmsted archives are kept. And there was a question of whether Olmsted actually designed Forest Park, and what I have researched in the past is that he designed it in part or his office designed it in part. And I wanted to check so I would have gone today," said Heller.
Bill Devlin is a tour guide for the community group AQCA- the Armoury-Quadrangle Civic Association. He says he knows other guides that work for sites like the Springfield Armory that have been put on furlough and says it’s a shame.
"We've got to get back to some level of sanity. They weren't immediately pressed for resources, but they're not getting paid. So they're going to have to figure out something sooner or later,” said Devlin.
This is where the government shutdown stands right now. More than a dozen lawmakers from New England are among 186 members of the U.S. House of Representatives that have signed a special petition that would reopen the federal government. Western Massachusetts' James McGovern and Richard Neal are among them. GOP house speaker John Boehner refuses to allow lawmakers to vote on a temporary straightforward spending bill that would keep the government operating.