Pershing Square in DTLA


Pershing Square is the public park located in Downtown Los Angeles that people currently hold a strong dislike for. The disdain towards this space stems from the public reaction to the Park’s 1993 redesign, which involved uprooting trees planted between the late 1800s and the 1970s, the addition of a new underground parking structure, and the incorporation of contemporary homages toward the City’s past by way of the purple tower, the geometric walkways and a new water fountain.

What’s missing are the old green space, shade from the aging trees and easy pedestrian thru-ways, now blocked by walls and a water fountain. Here is a photo of what Pershing Square once looked before the 1993 renovation:

Courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library (Photo Collection).

Here’s what Pershing Square looks like today:

Courtesy of LA Downtown News.

According to, a landscape redesign to draw park visitors in is soon underway. To help revitalize Pershing Square as a welcoming and safe public space comfortable enough for the day-to-day patronage, yet readily adaptable so that the park can accommodate a variety of community events intended for large crowds, a design competition was held earlier this year. Below are photos of the Winning Design Proposal:


Before the current Pershing Square disappears, I wanted to revisit it this summer because I actually didn’t mind the landscaping whenever I visited the public space. I have fond memories of when I first introduced my family to Pershing Square in the winter of 2012, when “snow” descended upon Downtown Los Angeles. The memories of enjoying our time there are what I cherish mostly. Check out these captured moments below:


More recently, my family and I visited Pershing Square to attend the DTLA Proud Festival:


We also returned to Pershing Square during the week to admire Patrick Shearn’s (Poetic Kinetics) temporary art installation, Liquid Shard.  Liquid Shard is 15,000 square feet long, and is made out of several holography mylar strips arranged in a long ribbon-like web. It moves every which way, depending on the wind conditions of the moment. Here are a few of my video captures of what seem like a school of fish, all moving in dreamy unison.

I also took a few photos to capture the ever-changing rainbow-like sheen of this hypnotic art installation:


For whatever negative opinions people have towards Pershing Square, one thing is for sure: the venue sure is a community draw, changing every which way, to cater the evolving needs of the discerning Los Angeles residents.

Come visit it soon before it shuts down for major design renovations sometime next year.



Pershing Square
532 South Olive Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013
(213) 847-4970
 © Copyright 2012-2016 by Deborah Kuzma, and All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Deborah Kuzma, and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.




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