Pershing Square and Biltmore Hotel, downtown Los Angeles, circa 1920s

Pershing Square and Biltmore Hotel, downtown Los Angeles, circa 1920sUp until WWII, Los Angeles still had a center, which was Pershing Square in downtown L.A. Until 1952, when the Powers That Be decided a multi-level parking lot ought to be built beneath it, Pershing Square was a quiet, leafy retreat from the bustling city, with a fountain, and lots of greenery and park benches on which to take shelter from the heat and while away an afternoon. This photo is circa mid to late 1920s and the only thing in it that’s still there is the Biltmore Hotel, a glorious 1923 place that’s still every bit as striking now as it was then…which is more than what we could say for Pershing Square today.

Pershing Square and Biltmore Hotel, downtown Los Angeles, circa 1920s

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