PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The nearly-week-long “Occupy Philadelphia” protest at City Hall has had one unintended victim: the City Hall tour operation.
The City Hall tours begin at the Visitor’s Center on the ground level, which used to be easily accessible through the City Hall courtyard. That changed when Occupy Philadelphia began last Thursday.
“The police have put up barricades around the building, which makes it more difficult for people to get access to the Visitors’ Center,” says Greta Greenberger, who runs the tour operation.
Greenberger says visitors now must go through a security entrance and then through corridors to get to the center.
And the result is immediate. “Oh, it’s terrible. Our business has dwindled to almost no people coming in. People don’t even realize that we are still offering tours of the building, and that our Visitor’s Center and gift shop is still available.”
The tours are administered by the Independence Visitor’s Center and receive no city funding.
“The income, or lack of income, really is jeopardizing our program.”
Adding insult to injury, the portion of the tour that takes people up the City Hall tower was closed a few weeks ago to repair a crack apparently caused by the August earthquake.
Reported by City Hall Bureau Chief Mike Dunn, KYW Newsradio 1060