About Pershing Square
Pershing Square is a public park in downtown Los Angeles, California, one square block in size, bounded by 5th Street to the north, 6th Street to the south, Hill Street to the east, and Olive Street to the west. It lies atop a large underground parking garage.History19th centuryIn the 1850s, the location was used as a camp by settlers from outside the Pueblo de Los Angeles, which lay to the northeast around the Our Lady Queen of the Angels' church, the Los Angeles Plaza, and present-day Olvera Street. Surveyors drew the site as 10 individual plots of land, but in practicality it was a single 5acre parcel. Canals distributing water from the Zanja Madre were adjacent. In 1866 the site was dedicated as a public square by Mayor Cristobal Aguilar; it was called La Plaza Abaja, or "The Lower Plaza." At some point the owner of a nearby beergarden, German immigrant George "Roundhouse" Lehman, planted small native Monterey cypress trees, fruit trees, and flowering shrubs in the park and maintained them until his death in 1882.In 1867, St. Vincent's College, present-day Loyola Marymount University, was situated across the street, and so the park informally became known as St. Vincent's Park. In 1870, it was officially named Los Angeles Park. In 1886 it was renamed 6th Street Park, and it redesigned with an "official park plan" by Frederick Eaton. In the early 1890s it was renamed Central Park. During this period a bandstand pavilion was added for concerts and orators. The plantings became sub-tropically lush, and the park became a shady oasis and an outdoor destination. In 1894 the park was used as the staging area for the annual crowning of the queen of 'La Fiesta de Los Angeles.