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RE: Local disaster recovery Questions

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Neil,

I accidentally deleted your message, so I apologize if I respond
incompletely or inappropriately to your email.

Following the 1987 Whittier Narrows EQ and the 1989 Loma Prieta EQ, a number
of historic buildings were lost.  Some were lost due to actions of Building
Officials who, in their concern for public safety, and possibly lack of
sensitivity to the cultural value of historic buildings, authorized the
demolition of historic buildings without seeking input from those who might
have helped to work out alternatives to demolition.  Other buildings were
lost because their owners had determined that demolition was more in their
interest than stabilization and repair.

At the time, while working for or in behalf of historic preservations
organizations I participated in advocating for repair and strengthening of
historic buildings.  In some cases, demolition of the building was in the
owners' best interest, regardless of the cost of repair, and claims of
irreparable structural damage seemed the expedient route to accomplishing
their purposes.  In those cases, my proposals for repair were unappreciated
and disputed by the owners.  In other cases, my proposals for repair and
strengthening were greatly appreciated.  I especially value the memories of
the pastor of a Hispanic congregation whose church had been scheduled for
demolition because of earthquake damage -- I proposed a repair system that
was implemented; whenever we meet, he shakes my hand with a big smile and
tells me, "You saved our church". 

I plan to be available again for recovery assistance should disaster strike
historic buildings in our area.

Roy Harthorne is author of a booklet, "Temporary Shoring & Stabilization of
Earthquake Damaged Historic Buildings", published 1998 by California
Building Officials [CALBO].  With excellent input by Structural Engineer
David Hammond, that publication gives guidance and references to other
publications that will help with practical, effective shoring and bracing
for earthquake damaged structures.  It will be useful to Building Officials,
after future quakes, giving guidance for alternatives to immediate
demolition that may gain time for historic buildings to be evaluated, and
possibly saved from demolition.

Nels Roselund, SE
South San Gabriel, CA
njineer(--nospam--at)att.net

 



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