Browse Items (60 total)

President George Washington and city planner Pierre L'Enfant chose the land for the new capital of the United States, in part, because of the beauty of its landscape. Rolling hills, the meeting point of two rivers, flat lands along the river banks,…

Diana Hopkins lived in the White House in the early 1940s with her father Harry, who was a special assistant to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. This article reports on the victory garden she was allowed to have on the White House grounds during…

Tiber Creek raced through the city from the base of Capitol Hill to the Potomac River. In the early 1800s, it was about 800 feet wide, flowing just below the hill where White House was built. Swimmers, boaters, and fishermen navigated its waters.…

Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack, established the People's Garden on the site of a former parking lot outside the Department of Agriculture in 2009. The garden is maintained by volunteers from the Department. All of the produce grown in the…

In the late 1920s, Congress and Washington city planners debated moving the Botanic Garden from the Mall to a larger location elsewhere in the District. This map shows a proposed plan for the Botanic Garden on a much larger site than is possible on…

This article from the Baltimore Sun discusses the establishment of the National Botanic Garden in Washington. The main source of the collection for the garden were botanic specimens gathered during the United States Exploring Expedition, which…

This detail of the bird's eye view of the city, "The national capital, Washington, D.C. Sketched from nature by Adolph Sachse, 1883-1884" shows the National Mall before the Army Corps of Engineers began to dredge the Potomac River to fill in the…

In 1863, the Commissioner of Public Buildings offered the Department of Agriculture the land between 12th and 14th streets and North and South B Streets (today's Constitution and Independence Avenues) for use as an experimental garden for…

This photograph was taken from the roof of the Smithsonian Castle around 1886. The small building on the left between the Smithsonian and the Washington Monument is the old Department of Agriculture Building, with its formal garden to the right…

This photograph was taken from the top of the Washington Monument in 1942. The Smithsonian Castle and National Museum of Natural History are visible in the middle of the picture. In the 1930s, the trees on the Mall were removed and rows of American…
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