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Washington D.C.

District of Columbia (Washington D.C.)

The United States Botanic Garden

TAdmission to all public areas of the U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG) is free.
Admission to all public areas of the U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG) is free.

Exhibits interpret the role of plants in supporting earth's diverse and fragile ecosystems and in enriching human life. Public displays are located in the Conservatory, on the surrounding terrace gardens, and in adjacent Bartholdi Park. Established by Congress in 1820, the U.S. Botanic Garden is one of the oldest botanic gardens in North America. The garden's first greenhouse was constructed in 1842; since 1849 the Garden has been located at the eastern end of the Mall. The Garden has been administered through the Office of the Architect of the Capitol since 1934.


The United States Botanic Garden traces its beginning to 1816, when the constitution of the Columbian Institute for the Promotion of Arts and Sciences in Washington, D.C., proposed the creation of a botanic garden to collect, grow, and distribute plants of this and other countries that might contribute to the welfare of the American people.
The Institute's garden was established by Congress in 1820 to the west of the Capitol Grounds, extending from First Street to Third Street between Pennsylvania and Maryland Avenues. This facility functioned until shortly after the organization stopped holding meetings in 1837.

In 1842, the idea of a national botanic garden was reestablished when the return of the United States Exploring Expedition to the South Seas (the Wilkes Expedition) brought to Washington a collection of living plants from around the globe.
Placed initially in a specially constructed greenhouse behind the Old Patent Office Building, the plants were moved in late 1850 into a new structure on the site previously occupied by the Columbian Institute's garden.

The Garden was moved to its present main location at First Street and Maryland Avenue, S.W., in 1933.
This facility includes a conservatory and 2 acres of outside grounds. Across Independence Avenue are the Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi Park, an outdoor display area, and an administration building.

More information
Admission to all public areas of the U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG) is free.
The Conservatory is open 10 AM - 5 PM daily.
Visitors are welcome in Bartholdi Park from dawn until dusk and can access it from any of the three bordering streets - Independence Avenue, Washington Avenue or First Street
The Conservatory main entrance is on Maryland Avenue, SW.




Document Information
Source: Washington DC CTC
Last modified: 20100219
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