Report: 39 San Francisco Buildings in Quake Danger
The U.S Geological Survey recently released a report outlining dozens of San Francisco high-rises that would be at risk if a major earthquake were to occur.
What Was Found
The report (titled “The HayWired Earthquake Scenario—Engineering Implications”) lists 39 buildings that it says could buckle in a major earthquake—basing measurements off of the 1906 Great San Francisco earthquake, which was a magnitude 7.8, and the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, a 6.9.
The study notes that many of the skyscrapers considered to be in danger are welded steel moment-frame buildings, a building technique that’s no longer used.
While codes were rewritten after the 1994 Northridge earthquake in Los Angeles fractured 60 high-rises, a large cluster of buildings in San Francisco’s downtown that were built between 1960 and 1994 have not been retrofitted. Many other municipalities made such fixes mandatory, including Santa Monica, which is giving owners of steel-frame buildings 20 years to complete costly retrofits.
“This is an issue that structural engineers should have been dealing with continuously since the mid-1990s and we just dropped it,” Keith Porter, an earthquake engineering expert who helped lead the USGS study, told The New York Times, which sifted through the 400-plus-page report. “We don’t know how to deal with a problem this big.”
A San Francisco city administrator noted that the city is working in the assessment phase of many of the buildings, but that “There are only so many engineers in this city. There’s only so much money."
Some notable buildings include Salesforce West; 555 California, partially owned by President Donald J. Trump; Transamerica Pyramid; and the San Francisco Marriott.
The complete list includes:
1. Hartford Building, 650 California
2. Beal Bank Building, 180 Sansome
3. Bechtel Building, 50 Beale
4. 44 Montgomery
5. 425 California
6. 555 California
7. McKesson Plaza, One Post
8. Pacific Gas and Electric Building, 77 Beale
9. One Embarcadero Center, 355 Clay
10. Transamerica Pyramid, 600 Montgomery
11. 100 Pine
12. 211 Main
13. First Market Tower, 525 Market
14. 425 Market
15. Two Embarcadero Center
16. 221 Main
17. California Automobile Association Building, 100 Van Ness (The owners of this building dispute this listing, saying that a 2013 retrofit brought the building up to current codes.)
18. Chevron Tower (Market Center)
19. Spear Tower (One Market Plaza)
20. Steuart Tower (One Market Plaza)
21. Three Embarcadero Center, 155 Clay
22. Shaklee Terraces, 444 Market
23. 333 Market
24. 595 Market
25. 201 California
26. Two Transamerica Center, 505 Sansome
27. 101 California
28. Telesis Tower, One Montgomery
29. 1 Ecker Square, 1 Ecker
30. 100 Spear
31. 101 Montgomery
32. Citicorp Center, One Sansome
33. 50 Fremont Center
34. 333 Bush
35. 345 California
36. 301 Howard
37. Hilton San Francisco Hotel, 333 O’Farrell
38. San Francisco Marriott, 55 Four
39. Embarcadero West, 275 Battery