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Unreinforced Masonry

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NEWS
December 8, 1988 | SHELDON ITO, Times Staff Writer
The Santa Monica Building and Safety Commission will meet tonight to consider a staff proposal to require earthquake safety strengthening of about 200 unreinforced masonry buildings in the city. But many owners of the buildings, most of which were built downtown after 1915 and before 1933, say further strengthening is unnecessary and would cost them about $50 million.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 5, 2004 | Kenneth Reich, Times Staff Writer
A state law that requires California's 25,550 unreinforced masonry buildings to display placards warning that a major earthquake could damage them is being largely ignored, according to state records. The masonry buildings have long been considered by seismologists to be the most sensitive to earthquake damage, a point bolstered by December's 6.5-magnitude temblor in Paso Robles in which two people died when an unreinforced structure collapsed on them.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 19, 1994 | PEGGY Y. LEE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The devastation in the city of Fillmore from this week's earthquake underscored the need for more stringent laws in Ventura County regarding unreinforced masonry buildings, officials said Tuesday. Ninety percent of the 64 unreinforced masonry buildings in Fillmore's downtown district were destroyed or heavily damaged in the 6.6 temblor, city officials said. Unreinforced masonry buildings--usually referring to brick structures--are considered unsafe to be in or near during a major earthquake.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 6, 2004 | Anna Gorman, Times Staff Writer
Nearly half of California's court buildings evaluated for seismic safety are at risk of partial collapse if there is a significant earthquake, according to a new report by the state Administrative Office of the Courts. Of 300 court buildings assessed by structural engineers, 147 could pose a substantial risk to life and sustain substantial structural damage. Only 72 reached the state's seismic safety bar.
NEWS
November 5, 1989 | PENELOPE McMILLIAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A Times survey of city and county officials in Los Angeles and Ventura counties shows about 13,000 unreinforced masonry buildings have been identified. The largest number are in the city of Los Angeles, which has 7,991 brick commercial and residential structures, followed by Long Beach with 565, Pasadena with 500 and Alhambra with 330. Of the 85 cities in Los Angeles County, 21 have seismic safety ordinances in place, and a half dozen have upgraded their building codes. Another 11 cities, including Whittier, Beverly Hills and Alhambra, have laws under consideration, according to officials, while eight said they are following the Los Angeles County seismic safety ordinance passed in 1987.
NEWS
November 5, 1989 | PENELOPE McMILLAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Ralph Grippo, the Torrance director of building and safety, went to the Bay Area after the Oct. 17 earthquake and inspected 20 homes in Santa Cruz County. Working as an emergency inspector, Grippo tagged more than half as unsafe to occupy, because "they had just kicked off the foundations." He came home worried about older wood frame houses in downtown Torrance. But there is no law in Torrance, or elsewhere in Los Angeles County, that requires seismic upgrading or even seismic evaluations of single-family homes.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 29, 1991 | MACK REED
The Ventura City Council heard public testimony Monday on two proposed ordinances requiring downtown landlords to strengthen unreinforced masonry buildings. Council members voted 7 to 0 to set a formal public hearing on the ordinances for Nov. 18, but held an impromptu hearing at which critics of the ordinances lambasted the council. Several critics attacked the inch-thick environmental report, which city-hired engineers wrote explaining the ordinances.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 1990 | TOM McQUEENEY
A list released last week of 127 unreinforced masonry buildings--those most dangerous in an earthquake--shows that Fullerton has more than any other city in the county, building official Chuck Daleo said. The city will send notices to owners of all the buildings telling them they must either upgrade the structures or demolish them. "During an earthquake, these buildings are potentially dangerous," Daleo said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 20, 1991 | MACK REED
The Ventura City Council has passed an ordinance requiring downtown landlords to make parts of their unreinforced masonry buildings earthquake-proof after a woman testified that her son was killed by tumbling bricks in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. The council voted 6 to 1 to require owners of 138 such buildings to anchor tile roofs and brick parapets to make them more resistant to quakes, and to require all landlords to coat windows larger than three feet square with shatterproof glazing.
NEWS
September 12, 1991
The City Council on Tuesday adopted a seismic mitigation ordinance that will require owners of several historic downtown buildings to shore them up or tear them down. The ordinance is specifically aimed at 32 older commercial structures built of unreinforced masonry, which is extremely hazardous during earthquakes. Many of the seismically unsound buildings line the old downtown streets in the Village area and have been identified as sites of historical or architectural merit.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 19, 1994 | PEGGY Y. LEE, TIMES STAFF WRITER
The devastation in the city of Fillmore from this week's earthquake underscored the need for more stringent laws in Ventura County regarding unreinforced masonry buildings, officials said Tuesday. Ninety percent of the 64 unreinforced masonry buildings in Fillmore's downtown district were destroyed or heavily damaged in the 6.6 temblor, city officials said. Unreinforced masonry buildings--usually referring to brick structures--are considered unsafe to be in or near during a major earthquake.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 26, 1991 | MACK REED
The Ventura City Council gave final approval Monday to a modified earthquake-proofing ordinance that engineers say focuses on the danger of flying debris. The council voted 6 to 1 to require owners of 138 unreinforced masonry buildings to anchor their brick parapets so they are more resistant to earthquakes. Councilman Jim Monahan voted against the measure.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 20, 1991 | MACK REED
The Ventura City Council has passed an ordinance requiring downtown landlords to make parts of their unreinforced masonry buildings earthquake-proof after a woman testified that her son was killed by tumbling bricks in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. The council voted 6 to 1 to require owners of 138 such buildings to anchor tile roofs and brick parapets to make them more resistant to quakes, and to require all landlords to coat windows larger than three feet square with shatterproof glazing.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 29, 1991 | MACK REED
The Ventura City Council heard public testimony Monday on two proposed ordinances requiring downtown landlords to strengthen unreinforced masonry buildings. Council members voted 7 to 0 to set a formal public hearing on the ordinances for Nov. 18, but held an impromptu hearing at which critics of the ordinances lambasted the council. Several critics attacked the inch-thick environmental report, which city-hired engineers wrote explaining the ordinances.
NEWS
September 12, 1991
The City Council on Tuesday adopted a seismic mitigation ordinance that will require owners of several historic downtown buildings to shore them up or tear them down. The ordinance is specifically aimed at 32 older commercial structures built of unreinforced masonry, which is extremely hazardous during earthquakes. Many of the seismically unsound buildings line the old downtown streets in the Village area and have been identified as sites of historical or architectural merit.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 18, 1991 | PENELOPE McMILLAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Inspector Scott McGill called the dilapidated three-story apartment building one of the city's "hard cases" as he walked down the bare floors of its long, narrow halls. Apart from graffiti, broken windows and leaking pipes, the building at 739 S. Coronado St. is long overdue for structural strengthening against earthquakes as required under Los Angeles law.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 26, 1991 | MACK REED
The Ventura City Council gave final approval Monday to a modified earthquake-proofing ordinance that engineers say focuses on the danger of flying debris. The council voted 6 to 1 to require owners of 138 unreinforced masonry buildings to anchor their brick parapets so they are more resistant to earthquakes. Councilman Jim Monahan voted against the measure.
REAL ESTATE
October 4, 1987
"Long Beach Building Gets New Life" (Sept. 13) via prettification and innovative approach to strengthening unreinforced masonry walls against earthquakes--all well and good. To a point. What is omitted here is the threat posed by Long Beach's earthquake ordinance, the most Draconian of all earthquake ordinances, to its splendid older stock of pre-1933 structures in downtown Long Beach. Unless this measure is repealed or radically revised, the most interesting and historic buildings face a 1990 termination date.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 1990 | TOM McQUEENEY
A list released last week of 127 unreinforced masonry buildings--those most dangerous in an earthquake--shows that Fullerton has more than any other city in the county, building official Chuck Daleo said. The city will send notices to owners of all the buildings telling them they must either upgrade the structures or demolish them. "During an earthquake, these buildings are potentially dangerous," Daleo said.
NEWS
January 18, 1990 | IRENE CHANG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Less than half of the 29 cities in the San Gabriel Valley have met a state deadline for complying with an earthquake safety law to make unreinforced masonry buildings less hazardous. The number, included in a report released last week by the state Seismic Safety Commission, reflects a 43% compliance rate statewide. The number would have been lower had people not been jolted into awareness by the Oct. 17 Bay Area earthquake, building experts said.
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