Editor's Note: This post was originally published on December 4, 2017, and has been updated with the most recent information.
New renderings of the planned makeover for Downtown’s Pershing Square show off some updates to the winning design selected last year.
French firm Agence Ter, with Gruen Associates, spent the last five months re-shaping its original concept “based on the technical realities of the site and in partnership with the city,” the design team said in a statement.
Many items that were key to its winning proposal—including the “great lawn, pergola, gardens and promenade”—are still part of the plan, as is its proposal for “radical flatness.”
Agence Ter wants to remove the walls along the park’s perimeter and lower the top of the parking garage. This will allow for the park to be at the same level as the surrounding sidewalks.
Highlights of the redesign include a reflection pool meant to capture the image of the Millennium Biltmore Hotel and new landscaping features that designers promise will give the park a “welcoming ecology with gardens, grasses and lawns.”
The most up-to-date designs call for a slight rejiggering of some of the elements within the park’s interior, including a relocation of the planned pergola. Plans also call for adding a “step” filled with gardens near Hill Street, instead of having the greenery grow deep into the parking garage as previously planned.
The push to redesign Pershing Square has been chugging along since the winning team was picked last year. This spring, the effort got a boost via funding for a feasibility study.
The Agence Ter and Gruen team says it’s working toward completing its “planning and feasibility phase” in spring 2018.
Until then, Eduardo Santana, executive director of Pershing Square Renew, says members of the public should “be on the lookout for innovative activations of the space that re-energize the square even as its physical transformation gets underway.”