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City leaders take input for Pershing Square redesign

Downtown Los Angeles' Pershing Square.
Downtown Los Angeles' Pershing Square.
Dave Coelho/KPCC

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Pershing Square, downtown LA's flagship public space has been called “ugly,” “awful,” and much worse. But that's about to change. City officials are planning a major makeover of the park named for World War I army Gen. Joseph Pershing.

Los Angeles City Councilman Jose Huizar and the city-affiliated nonprofit Pershing Square Renew are taking feedback on the proposed redesign, and they’re heading to the streets for your input.

Residents are invited to look at 10 different makeover concepts and weigh in with their own this weekend — staff with Pershing Square Renew will be at the Grand Central Market on Saturday and on Sunday at the Downtown Los Angeles Farmers Market.

On Friday, the group set up a booth in Pershing Square itself next to a couple food trucks and the seasonal ice rink.

"What we’re asking now the community to do is to give us feedback," said Moises Cisneros, a consultant with Pershing Square Renew. "And that feedback is actually going to impact the way in which the winners end up being selected."

There's not a lot of love for the park as it appears today.

"I pretty much hate it," said Enio Hernandez, a Los Angeles native who works nearby. "There’s hardly any soft landscaping like plants or anything like that. It just looks dated, I mean look at that bell tower, man!"

Hernandez said he'd like Pershing Square to look more like Chicago's iconic Millennium Park—something that gathers crowds.

Hernandez wasn't alone. "It's not as inviting — it's too closed up, you know?" said Regie Vital, who also works downtown. "I mean there's point of entry to this space, but I think it needs to be really open."

Those comments were in line with what a lot of the people hanging out in the square asked for — more greenery, fewer walls, maybe a dog park. 

Pershing Square Renew says Angelenos can submit their ideas online or at any of the booths popping up around downtown.

Which vision of Pershing Square do you like best? 

You can see more and larger renderings at the links below, and you can offer feedback on the proposals on Pershing Square Renew's website.

Agence Ter and Team

Agence Ter and Team
Agence Ter and Team
Agence Ter and Team

Snøhetta

Snøhetta
Snøhetta
Snøhetta

James Corner Field Operations with Frederick Fisher & Partners

James Corner Field Operations with Frederick Fisher & Partners
James Corner Field Operations with Frederick Fisher & Partners
James Corner Field Operations with Frederick Fisher & Partners

W Architecture

W Architecture

PWP Landscape Architecture with BRV and Allied Works Architecture

PWP Landscape Architecture with BRV and Allied Works Architecture

mia lehrer+associates and !melk

mia lehrer+associates and !melk

Petersen Studio + BNIM

Petersen Studio + BNIM

Rios Clementi Hale Studios with OMA AMO

Rios Clementi Hale Studios with OMA AMO

SWA with Morphosis

SWA with Morphosis

wHY with Civitas

wHY with Civitas