Getting to Know Seattle: Trivia

Structures built in earthquake-prone regions like Seattle have a feature that I’d never seen before moving here. The biggest danger in even a mild quake is that a house will slide a few inches or more off its foundation. Once that happens, you can’t have the house moved back into place and retain structural integrity. The house has to be demolished. Newer homes and commercial buildings have quake-abatement built in. But older neighborhoods, filled with the 1920’s American Craftsman homes that make Seattle neighborhoods so appealing, have to be retrofitted. The fix looks like this, and there will be multiple metal plates with thick bolts anchoring the house to the foundation all around the basement.


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