Architecturally Significant, Seismically Incorrect

P1040414The Trinity Episcopal Church, on Gough street in San Francisco, looks like a medieval castle. It was built in 1892.

P1040416The building survived major earthquakes in 1906 and 1989. But now there is concern whether it could stand another. No one knows if there is a steel frame underneath the stone; the cost to find out is estimated at $350,000. So the sanctuary will be sealed off and services will take place in a smaller chapel on the property.

P1040422If you want to see the inside of this building, you better go soon. It will be closed in the next month or so. 

P1040431Temple Sherith Israel, on California street, has similar problems.

P1040444Its sandstone facade is weakened by time and water, and there is concern that pieces may break off.


P1040441So scaffolding has been erected around the temple. But the facade is not the only problem- the city  says its unreinforced masonry is unsafe. The congregation is in the process of raising capital for a retrofit, says a 2007 newspaper article.

P1040442Like Trinity Episcopal, it made it through the 1906 and 1989 earthquakes. After the 1906 quake, the building served as San Francisco’s Superior Court.

P1030383St. Brigid’s on Van Ness, now owned by the Academy of Art, has the same problem. Survived the two big quakes, now needs major repair.

P1030385Costs to restore it are estimated at $7 million. You can read more about it here.


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