The Seismic Retrofit of the Oakland City Hall

by Mason Walters

Walters, Mason (2003). The Seismic Retrofit of the Oakland City Hall. SMIP03 Seminar on Utilization of Strong-Motion Data, p. 149 - 164.

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The historic Oakland City Hall experienced extensive damage in the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, and was subsequently the focus of an intensive process of testing, historic evaluation, dynamic structural analysis, and retrofit design using seismic isolation. A comprehensive post-earthquake study done by a team of architects and engineers, and reviewed by FEMA and SHPO, concluded that seismic isolation was the most cost-effective and behavior-effective method to protect the landmark building and its occupants from seismic hazards. The retrofit was completed in 1995. Numerous technical challenges and questions were confronted in the course of this pioneering project. The resolution of these issues, and the features of the seismic design and analysis are discussed.