Capitol Hill Restoration Society

200 Years of Botanic Garden’s Contributions – Overbook Lecture

Posted on February 24th, 2024

The eye-catching conservatory and variety of plant displays of the US Botanic Garden at the base of Capitol Hill has long been a treasured destination for residents and tourists. At the Overbeck History Lecture on Monday, March 11, at Hill Center, Old Naval Hospital, Dr. Susan Pell will look back at the more than 200 years of the USBG and its many contributions to national life.

Through historic photos, media coverage, and stories from the USBG archives, Dr. Pell, executive director of the Botanic Garden, will share how the institution began with its establishment by Congress in 1820. It then grew with a collection of living plants brought back from a naval expedition in 1842 to the institution that now serves more than one million visitors each year as well as many thousands of online learners, inspiring people to appreciate, study, and conserve plants. Dr. Pell has spent her career at public gardens as a botanist, educator, and leader and has conducted fieldwork internationally in support of her research.

The March 11 lecture by Dr. Pell at Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Avenue SE, will begin at 7:30 pm. Admission is free but a reservation is required due to limited capacity. Reservations can be made starting February 20 through Hill Center:

Overbeck Lecture: 200 Years of Botanic Garden’s Contributions. The night of the lecture, seating will begin at 7:00 pm for guests with reserved seating. Available seats will be released to others beginning at 7:15. If you are unable to attend, please notify Hill Center (202-549-4172) so that another person can attend.

Overbeck lectures are supported by the Capitol Hill Community Foundation. For more information on the lecture series, visit