Depressing photos show how the government shutdown has turned parts of Washington, DC into a ghost town

Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty ImagesThe city’s monuments and museums are closed during the shutdown.
  • With no end in sight for the US government shutdown, many Washington, DC museums and attractions have been forced to close their doors.
  • The Smithsonian has temporarily closed 17 museums. The National Zoo is now shuttered as well.
  • Many tourists arrived at the sites, only to discover closure signs posted on doors and gates.

Washington, DC, has been quieter than usual as residents endure the fourth week of a partial government shutdown.

Since the start of the shutdown on December 22, hundreds of thousands of federal employees have been put on furlough, with some choosing to work without pay.

While many national parks, museums, and attractions have attempted to remain open, DC has witnessed the closure of 17 Smithsonian-run museums, including the National Museum of American History.


Read more:
Photos show national parks and monuments overflowing with garbage

The National Zoo has also shut down, bringing a temporary end to its beloved “Panda Cam.”

Footpaths along the National Mall are now strewn with garbage amid a backdrop of empty monuments.

All the while, President Trump is holding firm on his desire for a $US5.6 billion border wall between Mexico and the US.

On the same day that the Smithsonian shuttered its museums, Trump declined to compromise on congressional funding, saying the shutdown would last “as long as it takes” to secure his demands.

In the meantime, visitors have been disappointed by the sight of closed museums, and citizens have been angered by the filth lining their streets. Take a look at the current state of affairs in Washington, DC.


On the fourth week of the shutdown, the view from Air Force One showed what appeared to be an abandoned city covered in snow.

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

The Smithsonian announced the closure of all of its museums on January 2.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

Signs were posted outside the National Museum of American History, which receives around 6 million annual visitors.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Source: Statista


The National Zoo also closed its gates to visitors, though they insisted that “all animals will continue to be fed and cared for.”

Source: Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute


Twitter users were up in arms about the suspension of the zoo’s “Panda Cam,” which live streams the activity of three giant pandas.

Source: Reuters


A few unsuspecting tourists travelled to The National Museum of African American History on the day it was shut down.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

They quickly encountered signs saying it was closed.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

Children peered inside the museum to catch a glimpse.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

A week later, the museum’s lines were empty.

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

Tourists also found a closed carousel at the National Mall.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

A day after the Smithsonian museums closed, the National Gallery of Art followed suit.

Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images

Source: The Washington Post


The National Archives closed its doors at the beginning of the shutdown on December 22.

Source: The Washington Post


The National Christmas Tree was closed temporarily, though it reopened in time for the holiday.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Source: CNN


The closure of the National Park Service resulted in trash-laden streets throughout the city.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images

Litter remains scattered near the base of the Washington Monument.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images

The White House can be seen behind an overflowing trash can.

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images

The Russell Rotunda at the US Capitol building is eerily desolate.

Zach Gibson/Getty Images

On day six of the shutdown, the halls outside Democratic House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer’s office were filled with boxes and furniture.

Melina Mara/The Washington Post via Getty Images

On January 14, the Capitol building was covered in snow with no pedestrians or visitors in sight.

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call/Getty Images


Read more:
Filthy parks, closed museums: U.S. government shutdown grinds on

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