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Pershing Square Travel Guide

The Pershing Square district is centered around Los Angeles’ oldest park, Pershing Square, which is sandwiched between Broadway and Bunker Hill. It was constructed in 1866 and renamed in 1918 after the WWI general. The park has deteriorated to such a state that it seems irreversible even with efforts at revitalization. It is now populated by the homeless, lacks grass and other plants, and its only notable feature is a bright purple campanile that towers over the benches. Outside of the park, however, the district is more visually appealing, featuring fine examples of architecture.[1]


Biltmore Hotel
The Biltmore Hotel is located on the west side of Pershing Square Park along Olive Street. It is a Renaissance Revival with three brick towers. The interior is highlighted by a grand old lobby and intricate ceiling paintings.[2]

Oviatt Building
The Oviatt Building at 617 S. Olive Street is another surviving example of LA’s 1920s Art Deco buildings. The Oviatt once housed the haberdashery, a restaurant that used to serve the likes of Clark Gable and John Barrymore. Today, it is occupied by the Cicada restaurant. If you get a chance to visit the Oviatt, be sure to check out the building’s elevators, which feature hand-carved oak panels that were designed by the famous craftsman from Paris, Rene Lalique. The building’s exterior is also highlighted by a grand clock and sign above.[3]

International Jewelry Center
The International Jewelry Center is the place to go if you want to buy jewelry. There are over 600 jewelers selling gold, precious stones, diamonds, and metals at this complex and at competitive prices, too.[4]

Dickey, Jeff. Los Angeles, 3rd Edition. Rough Guides, 2003. ISBN: 1843530589.

[1] Dickey, 63-64
[2] Id. at 64
[3] Id.
[4] Id.

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