Disappointed tourists visit (mostly) closed King historic site

The Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site visitor center was closed Saturday due to a federal government shutdown. Maya T. Prabhu/maya.prabhu@ajc.com

A smattering of people wandered the grounds of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Park, trying to figure out what to do since most of the grounds were closed due to the government shutdown.

Freedom Hall, which is privately owned, remained open Saturday for visitors to take in exhibits about Rosa Parks, Ghandi and Kng and his wife, Coretta. Employees of the site said attendance had dropped dramatically for a Saturday.

Still, some were trying to make the best of what was their first visit to the historic site.

"According to the internet, it said everything would be open even with the shutdown," said Aric Dupre, who traveled from Cincinnati for a weekend vacation with his wife, Kat. It was their first trip to Atlanta. "It's disappointing. We have other plans, but this was going to be our whole morning."

The visitor center, the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church and King's birth home all were closed.

“It’s a shame because this is the weekend (after) the Martin Luther King holiday,” Kat Dupre said.

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Aric Dupre said the average person isn't effected by what he called "stubbornness on both sides."

"Overall it doesn't affect your average day unless you're doing stuff like this," he said.

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