Dedicated for use by Mayor Aguilar in 1866, this park land was named "La Plaza Abaja." In 1886, it was renovated with an official park plan designed by Fred Eaton. In 1911, the park was redesigned by John Parkinson to reflect the social and economic growth of the city.
During World War I, the Square was often the scene for militia receptions and provided a forum for public speakers. On November 8, 1918, the park was formally named Pershing Square in honor of the World War I general.
The next major change came in the 1950s, when an 1800-car garage was built beneath the park. In 1989, the Pershing Square Property Association and the Community Redevelopment Agency contributed to assist the Department of Recreation and Parks in the renovation of the park. Architect Ricardo Legoretta and landscapist Laurie Olin designed the current park plan, and the park was rededicated on February 3, 1994.
For more history and walking tours, contact the L.A. Conservancy.