L.A.'s Pershing Square Headed for Redesign
"It’s almost impossible to believe at this point, but after five years of discussion and planning, city officials say work will finally get underway to remake the concrete 'fortress' that is Pershing Square," writes Bianca Barragan.
Barragan says that while new development has transformed much of downtown Los Angeles, Pershing Square has remained largely untouched. The dearth of trees and shade and lack of accessibility have been major issues with the plaza. The work will involve removal of walls and buildings in order to connect Pershing Square to surrounding streets as well as the addition of trees, elevators, and stairs.
The first phases will cost $25 million with the entire project anticipated to cost $110 million. Some observers are concerned that the full redesign will not be completed. "A number of participants in the Pershing Square redesign process have said that a large-scale project like this, which needs funding to be shored up and broad neighborhood support, needs a sustained, significant push from a civic leader to be successful," notes Barragan.