The end of the government shutdown is bringing smiles this morning to the faces of federal workers at Massachusetts landmarks that had been closed in one of the most visible impacts of the impasse in Washington.
Eighty-five people are back to work for the National Park Service in Boston, said spokesman Sean Hennessey.
That included staff at the Faneuil Hall visitor center, the USS Constitution and its museum, and the Bunker Hill Monument, Hennessey said.
“All the employees are very happy to be serving the American people again,” said Hennessey. During the first 10 days of the shutdown, the Boston historic sites had turned away 55,000 visitors, he said.
“Folks who have already scheduled visits are not going to find closed gates,” he said.
Other popular sightseeing spots that reopened today include Minute Man National Historical Park in Concord, the Adams National Historical Park in Quincy, Salem Maritime National Historic Site, Lowell National Historical Park, John Fitzgerald Kennedy National Historic Site in Brookline, and the Cape Cod National Seashore.
“People can see all that the Commonwealth has to offer,” said Hennessey, noting that the fall is a crucial time for tourism in Boston, drawing leaf-peepers and spectators for events such as the Head of the Charles.
Down on the Cape, about 100 workers returned to the Cape Cod National Seashore this morning, said Kathy Tevyaw, deputy superintendent of the park.
“It was very difficult for them while we were shut down,” said Tevyaw. “This has been a very busy shoulder season for us,” she said, emphasizing that many visitors were discouraged when they were turned away.
Phil Lupsiewicz, a spokesman for Lowell National Historical Park, said somewhere between 85 and 100 employees went back to work today.
“We’re thrilled,” he said. “It’s a beautiful day out and the city has never looked better.” Although tourist season for the Lowell sites is winding down, Lupsiewicz said, events are in full swing as of this morning.