Sunday, January 08, 2012
Prior to 1918 Pershing Square in Los Angeles was known as "Central Park." The lush greenery of the park (prior to the construction of the parking garage under the square in the '50s) made it an oasis in a downtown environment of concrete sidewalks and asphalt streets, lacking in street trees or other greenery. The following is a postcard view of the square in the early '40s, with the Philharmonic Auditorium and the Title Guaranty Building along the far (north) side, and the palatial Biltmore Hotel at the left. At the edge of the card at the right is the three-story Hotel Parisian. The demolition of the Hotel Parisian for a parking lot is an example of how the residential population of downtown was diminished during the postwar era.