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Thom Mayne

Pershing Square's new design is flat and simple – and that's a good thing

Pershing Square's new design is flat and simple – and that's a good thing

On Thursday, Los Angeles got some good news. Pershing Square, the park at the heart of a revivifying downtown, has been handed over to Agence Ter, a French landscape architecture firm, for its next big makeover. The plan, which was chosen from among four finalists in the Pershing Square Renew design contest, won with a stratagem of simplicity and a modicum of good sense. It has at least a chance of re-establishing the five-acre square, bounded by Olive, Hill, 5th and 6th streets, as a great urban public space.

The odds weren't in the park's favor.

Long ago, Pershing Square (once known as Central Park and even earlier, Plaza Abaja, or lower plaza) was Los Angeles' premier civic...

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