A Timeline of Pershing Square Through the Years

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A look at Pershing Square from 1866 to today through historic images.

Pershing Square has undergone many transformations since it was first designated a public space in 1866. 

At Making LA, an all-day conference hosted by de LaB, designers, architects, planners and other creatives explored some of the city’s most pressing problems around themes including water, community and transportation. During the “community” portion of the day, Pershing Square was singled out as an underperforming public space.

Brian Glodney of Gensler and Sara Hernandez of Councilman Jose Huizar’s office explained how they are currently working together, with a private-public group called Pershing Square Renew, to explore the possibilities of remaking Pershing Square into a more thriving park, and they discussed why they took interest in the space and how they are approaching a potential redesign.

Pershing Square circa 2005. Photo courtesy of Los Angeles Public Library

We spoke to Glodney and Hernandez this week on DnA to find out more about what’s in store for the future of the park and why this redesign might be different than the numerous transformations the park has gone through since it was first designated a public space in 1866.

“To a certain extent, the constant evolution of Pershing Square is really a part of its history and part of its identity.” Hernandez said. “This is a space that has continuously evolved throughout its history, for better or for worse… It really truly is part of what Pershing Square is, it’s this space that is constantly evolving and constantly trying to better itself.”

Find historic images of Pershing Square through the years and its many iterations in the timeline above. Hear DnA’s segment on Pershing Square below.