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38 Photos of Pershing Square From 1866 to Today

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[All images via the wonderful Los Angeles Public Library Photo Collection]

After yesterday's underwhelming announcement that Pershing Square will get some kind of incremental, eventual makeover, one group is pushing for a simpler option: restore it to the "classic, beautiful design that was torn up in 1951 to build the parking lot and bomb shelter: with a central fountain, sculptures placed in their historic locations, diagonal paths, shade trees, benches and street-level views and pedestrian access." Which of course sent us straight to the Los Angeles Public Library archive in search of photos of past glory. Herewith, a tour of Pershing Square, from its 1866 origins as La Plaza Abaja, through its days as Sixth Street Park, Central Park, its 1918 rechristening in honor of General John J. Pershing, and right on through to its current unshaded, unloved incarnation.

Pershing Square

532 S. Olive St., Los Angeles, CA