Springfield Armory Slated To Close If Federal Government Shuts Down

The Springfield Armory National Historic Site is among the local facilities that would be affected if the federal government shuts down. 

The Armory is one of the nation’s two original facilities to make weapons for the U.S. Military after independence, and is now run by the National Park Service as a museum. It will close its doors to visitors at the end of business Monday. 

Superintendent James Woolsey says barring a last minute resolution, his staff of 12 will be working until noon Tuesday and then go home. He says the uncertainty of the situation has created much anxiety among his staff.

“There are people on our staff who, you know…don’t make a lot of money. And so, they’re looking at this thing where there might be, who knows how long without a paycheck. And so people are worried,” Woolsey says.

One worker will remain on site through the shutdown to overlook the museum’s security. Woolsey says he is even more concerned about visitors planning to stop by the museum, which attracts 20,000 people a year.

“We have people who come here from all over the world to visit this site. And so obviously the site won’t be open for them to come and learn about the history of the Springfield Armory,” Woolsey says

Woolsey says the Armory museum is also having to contend with the federal spending cuts, also called sequestration. He says the museum absorbed a loss earlier this year by cutting programs. He says a second round of reductions next year could force him to eliminate all four of the Armory’s temporary summer workers.