Pershing Square Park

Pershing Park was designed by M. Paul Friedberg and Partners as part of improvements along Pennsylvania Avenue by the Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation (PADC). The park, which was formerly a traffic island, is bordered by 14th and 15th streets on its east and west sides.

Completed in 1981, the multi-level park plaza, named in honor of General John J. Pershing, includes many of the signature design elements found in Friedberg’s design for Minneapolis’ Peavey Plaza (1974). This includes a central sunken plaza which also serves as a pool basin that is filled with water during the summer or frozen in winter for skating, a waterfall constructed with rough cut granite, amphitheatre style seating oriented around the plaza with lawn terraces, and a site-specific palette of furnishings, including moveable chairs like those found in Paley Park in New York City. In addition, the design includes a monument to Pershing designed by architect Wallace Harrison and a small structure that houses a café, restrooms and changing area for skating. The plantings were revised by Oehme, van Sweden & Associates in the 1980s.


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