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What Should L.A.'s Central Park Look Like?

The four final designs for Pershing Square range from urban tech-scape to flexible garden park.
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wHY + Civitas

Pershing Square is near the heart of downtown Los Angeles, and while it’s colorful and open, like the city it serves, the park is frequently empty, even dismal. Given its centrality, there’s no good reason why Pershing Square isn’t a vital part of L.A. life. Instead, it’s reviled by some and ignored by most.

The park suffers from some of the same issues that plague other Postmodernist parks. Although it is more than 150 years old, Pershing Square was last revised in 1994 by Ricardo Legorreta and Laurie Olin, who put an emphasis on hardscape and colorful, totemic sculptures. The pop still works; hardscape modern plazas, though, are no longer in vogue.