When I recently visited Downtown Los Angeles with my friends and family, I had the opportunity to see the historic Pershing Square. The square is located at 532 South Olive St., and it is a nice spot for any people walking around the city to rest, catch their breath, hang out, walk their dogs, or simply take in the art that is showcased there. The park was originally used in the 1850s as a campsite for visitors to stay on the outskirts of the original Pueblo de Los Angeles to the North. Around that time, it was just known as the Lower Plaza.
Following World War I, the park was dedicated to General John J. Pershing, to whom a plaque currently exists in the park in commemoration. Later, a statue of Ludwig van Beethoven was added to celebrate the establishment of the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra. The park has also been subject to other renovations, including the installation of an underground parking garage in 1952, and the construction of a bell tower, reflecting pools, and giant concrete oranges sitting on the concrete of the park, which are meant to represent the citrus industry. The reviews for the latter installation have been mixed, as some do not realize its significance and would prefer a more practical park.
When I went, my sister and I particularly enjoyed the art showcase. At the time, it featured a series of feminist surrealists, one of whom owns a store in the upper floor of The Last Bookstore, which is situated down the street. It was enjoyable being able to talk with her and subsequently visit her piece, after she’d told us about it. =