The city has set aside $3.5 million for early stages of planning

Not-so-popular Pershing Square is getting closer to a big makeover announced in 2014. Last year, French architectural firm Agence Ter was chosen to lead the redesign efforts, and today Councilmember Jose Huizar announced that LA’s Board of Public Works will provide a crucial $1.5 million to fund the early stages of the project.

According to a release from Huizar, who represents the Downtown area, the money will be added to $2 million already raised through fees charged to developers. It will pay for a feasibility study of the project, which would render the square nearly unrecognizable to those familiar only with its current layout (in place since 1994).

Agence Ter plans to flatten the multi-level park, creating a “continuous surface” with a large rolling lawn and a series of themed gardens. Additionally, a massive smart canopy will extend along the eastern edge of the park, providing shade during the day and lighting up in a multi-colored display at night.

Pershing Square Agence Ter and Team
Crowd watching movie in the park

One of the main issues that will be addressed in the feasibility study is how to integrate the park’s large subterranean parking lot into the redesign. The current layout of the square is, in part, designed to accommodate the parking structure—the roof of which will have to be shaved off in order to flatten the park.

Smart canopy at night

Once the feasibility study is completed, environmental review of the project can begin. At that time, Pershing Square Renew, the nonprofit overseeing the park’s overhaul, will host a series of community meetings on the new design. That should take place “in the coming months,” according to the release.