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Pershingh Square is the oldest public park in downtown Los Angeles and is definitely an example that gets brought up often, even if there are been five projects in its history and a garage under the square’s area is a further complication. All The Legorreta’s work featured the clean lines and spare forms of modern design but it also incorporated elements of Mexican vernacular architecture including thick walls, hidden courtyards and bold color. He brought his architectural aesthetic to downtown Los Angeles with a controversial 1993 redesign of Pershing Square. The few pedestrians in downtown L.A. are attracted to the square through a peculiar surface that resembles an earthquake faultline, designed by Barbara McCarren (The Earthquake Line Fault) and expecially because of the presence of three coloured buildings. The purple one houses a police’s station and the yellow ones a cafeteria.

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We've had this discussion before. The problem with Pershing Sq. is that it is over-run by homeless people, sometimes dozens of them. To minimize their camping and sleeping there, grass is minimized and the cement areas made uncomfortable for sleeping. Same was done in Union Sq. in SF, which has very little grass, many steps and slopes, and uncomfortable seating specifically to keep out the homeless.

The other choice is to fence off and lock, like NY or many European cities do for local parks.
 

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It's wonderful when the homeless/unhoused are discussed as an aesthetic problem that needs to be masked or otherwise hidden - or, even better, as a vermin problem - and not as the symptom of a constellation of very serious societal problems that need attention
 

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It's wonderful when the homeless/unhoused are discussed as an aesthetic problem that needs to be masked or otherwise hidden - or, even better, as a vermin problem - and not as the symptom of a constellation of very serious societal problems that need attention
For obvious reasons, the homeless tend to gather in places where panhandling and drug-dealing occur. When they sleep at night in parks and streets, it is almost always associated with hard drug usage, theft and violence.

You might want to share your "progressive" ideas with the Vietnamese mothers around Union Sq. and the Tenderloin, who have to step their children over derelicts lying on the sidewalks or screaming obscenities and wandering aimlessly on the street. Maybe aesthetics to you, but real life to those who live there.

Seriously, even the agencies that deal with them reject the idea of housing them in public parks. And you think that's a good place for them to hang?
 

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For obvious reasons, the homeless tend to gather in places where panhandling and drug-dealing occur. When they sleep at night in parks and streets, it is almost always associated with hard drug usage, theft and violence.

You might want to share your "progressive" ideas with the Vietnamese mothers around Union Sq. and the Tenderloin, who have to step their children over derelicts lying on the sidewalks or screaming obscenities and wandering aimlessly on the street. Maybe aesthetics to you, but real life to those who live there.

Seriously, even the agencies that deal with them reject the idea of housing them in public parks. And you think that's a good place for them to hang?
I don't think the implication is that they should be allowed to live in the park. Just that it's sad that the conversation steers more towards "how do we keep them hidden?" than "how do we get these people the help they need?"
 

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While I sympathise with the condition of the homeless people, Pershing Square as it exists today is certainly not a place where most families, women, or genteel types would feel comfortable to relax in. And, I think the current design of the park itself is poor. I would prefer a number of older iterations any day, such as these (I kind of like the clean look of the first design):



Pershing Square, Los Angeles, California by vokoban, on Flickr

 

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I don't think the implication is that they should be allowed to live in the park. Just that it's sad that the conversation steers more towards "how do we keep them hidden?" than "how do we get these people the help they need?"
Not a single word about keeping them hidden in any post. In fact, they linger all day on the streets and in Union Sq. and Pershing Sq., while locals, tourists and shoppers walk by. Impossible to miss them.

The comment was that having them camped and sleeping there is undesirable (agreed by every agency I have ever heard of). Nothing about aesthetics; just about drugs, crime and violence. "Aesthetics" and "hiding them" seem to come from "unmentioned's" own mind.
 

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Agree with Tanzirian. But without police action, this would become a campground for hundreds of homeless, addicts, etc., just as it was in the 60's-80's: pretty much all the grass areas covered with sleeping bags, tents, groups of totally spaced-out men screaming and defecating. Violence pretty much nightly. When we had clients with us, we would take a street that didn't pass the park. When it was just us staff, you would walk through the park but it was like a scene from Dante (or SoHo or the Lower East Side at about that time).
 

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Then you have the underground parking lot, which means having ramps surrounding it...
 

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Not a single word about keeping them hidden in any post. In fact, they linger all day on the streets and in Union Sq. and Pershing Sq., while locals, tourists and shoppers walk by. Impossible to miss them.

The comment was that having them camped and sleeping there is undesirable (agreed by every agency I have ever heard of). Nothing about aesthetics; just about drugs, crime and violence. "Aesthetics" and "hiding them" seem to come from "unmentioned's" own mind.
You're really so phenomenally talented at missing a point. Probably selectively too, I'd add. And if you want to talk about violence maybe let's start with the language with which you characterize those who have been wholly disenfranchised and forsaken.
 

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I honestly think that it is a lost cause. They should tear it down and develop it. It will never be the "Mayberry RFD" type park that everyone seems to want it to be (for centuries it seems). In the wrong place. Maybe 100 years ago it wasn't but right now, it is. Can be put to much better use.
 

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Then you have the underground parking lot, which means having ramps surrounding it...
I don't think the ramps are that relevant. Union Sq. has 5 stories of parking underneath and ramps or dedicated parking lanes on every side, but no one notices because the neighborhood is active, thriving and full of people. The problem with Pershing Sq. is not the ramps, it's the rest of the 'hood.
 

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You're really so phenomenally talented at missing a point. Probably selectively too, I'd add. And if you want to talk about violence maybe let's start with the language with which you characterize those who have been wholly disenfranchised and forsaken.
Your snide comment was that those concerned about the parks (and surrounding streets) were concerned about "aesthetics" and "hiding" people". Either withdraw it or defend it with some evidence.

As for the "disenfranchised and foresaken", are you talking about the Vietnamese mothers around the Tendeloin that you are proposing to "disenfranchise and foresake" to relieve your conscience toward hard-core addicts and crazy people? I'll buy your that theory when about a dozen guys are sleeping and shooting up on YOUR front lawn 24/7.
 

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I honestly think that it is a lost cause. They should tear it down and develop it. It will never be the "Mayberry RFD" type park that everyone seems to want it to be (for centuries it seems). In the wrong place. Maybe 100 years ago it wasn't but right now, it is. Can be put to much better use.
An interesting comment, but I hope we're not there yet. SoHo, Tompkins Sq. and the LES generally were worse in the 1970's, and now are vastly improved. It seems to be doable.
 

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Your snide comment was that those concerned about the parks (and surrounding streets) were concerned about "aesthetics" and "hiding" people". Either withdraw it or defend it with some evidence.

As for the "disenfranchised and foresaken", are you talking about the Vietnamese mothers around the Tendeloin that you are proposing to "disenfranchise and foresake" to relieve your conscience toward hard-core addicts and crazy people? I'll buy your that theory when about a dozen guys are sleeping and shooting up on YOUR front lawn 24/7.
All the more reason not to starve a government that can provide a safety net for life's unintended turns such as mental illness or unexpected accumulations of all sorts of things which can result in drug addiction.
 

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Wow, with the street car, it must have been amazing to walk around back then.


This shows how the cityscape changed so much.
 
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