Rediscovering Los Angeles — Pershing Square


Dec. 23, 1935: For this installment of Rediscovering Los Angeles, Times artist Charles Owens and columnist Timothy Turner visit Pershing Square. Not the concrete moonscape we know today, designed to repel the homeless, but a lushly landscaped park with a fountain and greenery in downtown Los Angeles.

Unlike the later series, Nuestro Pueblo, done by Owens and Joseph Seewerker, Rediscovering Los Angeles was never published in book form. The Times encouraged readers to clip the entries and save them in a scrapbook.

Turner says:

Pershing Square in the modern life of the city represents two things, a beauty appreciated by few and human blab. It is the place for shooting off one’s mouth, and a hundred or so men and some women sit there if the weather is fine and talk and talk and talk.

The police have just given up trying to stop the groups that block the walks and from these huddles and from rows seated on the bench comes a continuous hum of dialogue or rather conflicting monologues. Many in Pershing Square are not of the class fortunate or happy in this vale of tears, but most of them are very wise.

The talk is almost always dogmatic, often angry. Searchers for knowledge can go to Pershing Square and always find a man, and sometimes a woman, who absolutely knows everything about everything.


About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1935, Art & Artists, Columnists, Downtown, Hill Street, Nuestro Pueblo, Olive, Parks and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Rediscovering Los Angeles — Pershing Square

  1. I remember it. But I think that bit about copying New York City could have been invented by the writer. It seems logical, but where is the source?


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