Welcome to Pershing Square Outdoor Concert and Event Center
Pershing Square is in the heart of Downtown Los Angeles at 532 S. Olive St. The facility is operated by the Department of Recreation and Parks. Dedicated in 1866 and originally named La Plaza Abaja (the Lower Plaza), the “Square” underwent its first renovation in 1911 to reflect the social and economic growth of the city. During World War I the park was used for receptions for the militia and provided a public forum much like London’s Hyde Park Corner. In 1918 the park’s name was formally changed to Pershing Square in honor of the World War I general. The Department of Recreation and Parks, the Pershing Square Property Association and the Community Redevelopment Agency joined to renovate the park once again in 1989.
Pershing Square features an open and elevated ayan-style amphitheater, a grove of orange trees that pays tribute to Los Angeles’ agricultural roots, and at the south end a large river rock-lined circular fountain with a time-released water flow creating a tidal action. Artists Ricardo Legorreta, Laurie Olin and Barbara McCarren helped design Pershing Square. Pershing Square hosts a variety of community events.
JThe Pershing Square Downtown Stage is a six-week summer concert series with free music, films and events four days a week. An outdoor ice skating rink is hosted by Pershing Square November through January including a snow laden Winter Holiday Festival.
Free Zumba and Yoga classes are held in the new Community Room. A new chess are is available for chess clubs, tournaments and casual players. In the spring game nights are held on Tuesdays offering board games and lawn activities. Also new are the Pet Area and Hanging Wall Garden.
Pershing Square also runs a Mobile Youth Program that provides free arts and crafts, sports, games and summer and winter day camps for hundreds of children. A new children's play area will built on the campus in early 2015. A Farmers Market and Food Truck Friday lunch events are run weekly. Annual events include art shows by the Art Squared Gallery a city scape outdoor gallery; the St. Patrick’s Day free lunchtime concert celebration and the Spring Eggstravaganza. The venue also serves as a major location for television shows, films and private parties.
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