Some of Philadelphia's most historic landmarks will temporarily reopen to the public a week after the federal government shutdown forced their closure.
The Liberty Bell Center and Independence Hall will reopen ahead of one of the city's busiest periods for tourism thanks to a roughly $32,000 donation to the National Park Service by Visit Philadelphia, Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney's Office of Communications announced Thursday.
"While the federal government's partial shutdown continues to negatively impact services nationwide, I'm pleased that Visit Philadelphia is making it possible for people to continue to enjoy some of our city's most historic landmarks," Kenney said in a news release.
In a tweet, the National Park Service thanked Visit Philadelphia and confirmed that the donation would allow it to temporarily reopen the landmarks.
Both Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Center were closed to visitors after the federal government went into a partial shutdown Saturday as Congress and the president reached a funding impasse.
The landmarks are a vital part of Philadelphia's tourism industry, which the mayor's office said attracted 43.3 million visitors and generated $11.5 billion in economic impact last year.
The week between Christmas and New Year's Day is the second-busiest for Independence National Historical Park, with its Independence Visitor Center expecting between 70,000 and 100,000 visitors this year, the mayor's office said.
Some 25,000 of those visitors are expected to visit Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell between Friday and Sunday.
"We felt that it was important during this very busy holiday week to make Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell Center available to our visitors and residents," Visit Philadelphia President and CEO Jeff Guaracino said.
The donation by Visit Philadelphia will keep the landmarks open between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 28 through Sunday, Dec. 30.