This newly donated collection — the second largest single donation in U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG) history — adds to the rich heritage and importance of the USBG's orchid collection. The donation came from orchid grower Joe Francis, who lives in northern Virginia.
Delve deeper into the stories behind the people, art, history and grounds.
History & Discoveries
U.S. Botanic Garden at 200: Deeply Rooted, Branching Outward
Displaying 16 - 30 of 243
By franklin bradley | July 23, 2019
Starting in the 1650's, the De Witt family settled in and around Kingston, New York, and was prominent in the early history of Ulster County. Colonel Charles De Witt's career extended far beyond his home county, including being named as delegate to the Continental Congress.
By sarah davis | July 2, 2019
Brumidi worked on an impressive number of projects in the U.S. Capitol, including: the House Committee on Agriculture room, Lyndon B. Johnson Room, Senate Reception Room, the President's Room, the Committee on Naval Affairs room and the Senate Committee on Military Affairs room.
By erin courtney | June 5, 2019
The new U.S. Capitol Materials Cart Program showcases a variety of AOC trades, including masonry, sheet metal, paint and wood-crafting. The cart's trays allow Capitol visitors to see and touch elements of the building often out of reach or hidden to an untrained eye.
By franklin bradley | May 21, 2019
Did you know that the 15,000-pound bronze Statue of Freedom, standing atop the cast iron of the U.S. Capitol Dome, dances every day? While her limbs don't move, the entire structure atop the U.S. Capitol moves in a slow circle. How is this possible?
By erin courtney | May 14, 2019
During a recent renovation at the U.S. Capitol Building, members of the Architect of the Capitol uncovered a long-forgotten painting of the famous horse, Blackjack. During his tenure, Blackjack took part in the funerals of Presidents Hoover, Kennedy and Johnson as well as General MacArthur.
By aoc curator | May 6, 2019
Several artifacts were passed down through Brumidi's family and given to the Architect of the Capitol over a span of years beginning around 1961. The items include a nickel-plated oval box, a Bible, a small framed photograph, a prize medal, a sterling silver fruit knife and two napkin rings.
By erin nelson | April 10, 2019
Employee spotlight on an Architect of the Capitol elevator mechanic who started as a night shift laborer in the U.S. Capitol building and has continued to rise through the ranks by participating in on-the-job training and taking agency-sponsored courses.
By franklin bradley | April 3, 2019
Thomas Jefferson, inspired by skylights he saw in Paris, prevailed upon the Architect of the Capitol to include something similar in the U.S. Capitol's new chamber for the House of Representatives. However, all the skylights came to an untimely end.
By erin courtney | March 26, 2019
There's a cool tool that enables the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) to quickly respond to requests to dig on the U.S. Capitol grounds. It has eight receiving antennas making it easier for the person operating the locator to get a signal from buried utility lines as deep as 15 feet.
By kristen frederick | February 12, 2019
The preservation of the Cannon House Office Building's historic windows and doors allows the building to retain much of its original character and charm, while increasing the building's functionality for those who work and visit within its walls. Learn more about the process.
By kate holder | February 8, 2019
At a critical time in the U.S. Capitol's evolution, there was a Capitol Bronze Shop established by Montgomery Meigs. From 1855 to 1859, the shop helped serve the needs of the Capitol Extension, a major expansion project to accommodate a growing Congress in Washington, D.C.
By kristen frederick | January 3, 2019
During the process of renewing the Cannon House Office Building, workers have found hidden treasures that had been lost or discarded by the laborers who constructed the building more than 100 years ago. Here's a small sampling of what has been discovered since the start of the project.
By kristen frederick | December 18, 2018
How a successful immigrant family left their mark on the U.S. Capitol campus, and Architect of the Capitol's work to clean and preserve a historic treasure: the Cannon House Office Building basement rotunda with a Guastavino tile vaulted ceiling intact as it was originally constructed in 1907.
By erin courtney | November 27, 2018
A story of AOC employees coming together to improve safety on the U.S. Capitol campus for everyone: The Capitol Grounds and Arboretum uses a management tool to track vehicles owned and operated by the agency. The success of this fleet tracker system is leading to more improvements.