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Copyrights: All pictures were taken by amateur photographer Bruce Guthrie (me!) who retains copyright on them. Free for non-commercial use with attribution. See the [Creative Commons] definition of what this means. "Photos (c) Bruce Guthrie" is fine for attribution. (Commercial use folks can of course contact me.) Feel free to use in publications and pages with attribution but you don't have permission to sell the photos themselves. A free copy of any printed publication using any photographs is requested. Descriptive text, if any, is from a mixture of sources, quite frequently from signs at the location or from official web sites; copyrights, if any, are retained by their original owners.
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Specific picture descriptions: Photos above with "i" icons next to the bracketed sequence numbers (e.g. " ") are described as follows:
SIPGBU_210327_01.JPG: The Chinese Hackberry Tree
Witnessing a Century of Change
This tree has seen many changes. Planted around 1905 on the grounds of what was then the U.S. Patent Office Building, it has slowly grown as the city has developed and transformed around it.
A rare, large, local specimen of a Chinese hackberry (Celtis sinensis), it has witnessed the relocation of Chinatown from its original site on Pennsylvania Avenue; rioting, looting, and burning during the 1968 riots; the opening of the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery and American Art Museum; the rise of Chinatown as a major entertainment and sports destination; and many other momentous events in the history of our nation’s capital.
About the Chinese Hackberry
The Chinese hackberry (Celtis sinensis) is native to China, Korea, and Japan, where it is often found on forested slopes. It is a member of the hemp family (Cannabaceae), along with marijuana and hops.
About Smithsonian Gardens
Smithsonian Gardens is a vital and vibrant part of the Smithsonian Institution and an American Alliance of Museums–accredited museum. Our gardens are outdoor gallery spaces that extend the Smithsonian’s museum experience in a public garden setting.
A Living Collection
This tree is one of nearly 2,000 specimens that form the Smithsonian Gardens Tree Collection, located throughout Smithsonian museum grounds and gardens.
"One of the prettiest shade trees in Japan, suitable for avenues or private gardens, parks, etc. . . . It should be tried in the Southwest as a shade tree."
-- David Fairchild, Agricultural Explorer, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1903
Washington, D.C. in 1905
* Teddy Roosevelt was president.
* D.C. had a population of around 300,000 people (compared to around 700,000 people in 2019).
* Automobiles had only been on the streets for a few years.
* Much of the city was still lit by gas lamps.
* Many commuters got around by streetcar.
The U.S. Patent Office Building, built in 1836, was one of the first federal buildings in Washington, D.C. The Chinese hackberry is pictured on the left.
The building served as the U.S. Patent Office until 1932. The Chinese hackberry is pictured at center.
The Smithsonian acquired the former Patent Office Building in 1962. After extensive interior renovation, the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum opened to the public in 1968. The Chinese hackberry is pictured at center.
At more than 115 years old, the Chinese hackberry remains healthy and strong, with a trunk diameter of nearly four feet. Who knows what it will witness in years to come?
Left: Looking west down F Street from the Patent Office Building, circa 1909, showing gas lamps and streetcars.
SIPGBU_210514_08.JPG: On-site docents were still not available and staff provided visitor assistance from their homes.
SIPGBU_210514_10.JPG: Open Wed. - Sun.
11:30am - 7:00pm
Closed December 25
Most museums weren't replacing their permanent "Museum hours" signs -- they were just using sandwich boards to announce their current schedule. But the Donald Reynolds Center had replaced their sign.
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AAA "Gem": AAA considers this location to be a "must see" point of interest. To see pictures of other areas that AAA considers to be Gems, click here.
Bigger photos? To save server space, the full-sized versions of these images have either not been loaded to the server or have been removed from the server. (Only some pages are loaded with full-sized images and those usually get removed after three months.)
I still have them though. If you want me to email them to you, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
and I can email them to you, or, depending on the number of images, just repost the page again will the full-sized images.
2021 photos: This year was filled with hope. Yes, the COVID-19 pandemic is still with us but it was hoped that restoring sanity to the White House. the rapid vaccine role-out, and a government that finally cared would put things back to normal again. But the force was strong in the evil anti-vaxxer movement and the virus variants made quick use of that so we're still dealing with this crap.
Trips this year:
after getting fully vaccinated, I made a trip down to Asheville, NC in May to visit my dad and his wife Dixie,
in mid-July, I made a quick trip up to Stockbridge, MA to see the Norman Rockwell Museum again as well as Daniel Chester French's place @ Chesterwood.