More than 200 school buildings of all grade levels and some of LA's most iconic landmarks are among the addresses listed in a newly-public report of nearly 1,500 older concrete buildings that may be potentially vulnerable to a major earthquake. Patrick Healy reports for the NBC4 News at 11 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014.
Days after the NBC4 I-Team analyzed data that revealed nearly 1,500 older concrete buildings in Los Angeles may be potentially vulnerable in a major earthquake, the University of California released the names and addresses of the structures in question -- including some of LA's most iconic building.
Document: Pre-1976 Concrete Buildings in LA
These thousands of structures may not have adequate reinforcement to survive a significant quake, and engineers identified the buildings that they believe deserve a closer look to determine if they are vulnerable to temblors.
Some of the now-public addresses make up a few of LA's iconic landmarks, including Capitol Records Tower, Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and TCL Chinese Theatre (formerly Grauman's Chinese Theatre).
Officials mulled the decision on whether to make the addresses public and stressed the importance of realizing the list is not meant to scare residents but to explain that many buildings need more examination.
"I have a concern and the researchers on my team that people could become unduly alarmed and take a course of action that is really not warranted by this database,” said Jack Moehle, Ph.D, an engineering professor at UC Berkeley.
Researched released the list to city officials and to the LA Times in response to a public records request.
Moehle and his team found 1,454 concrete buildings in Los Angeles that may be inadequately reinforced. On the list are dozens of churches, offices, residential buildings, theaters, and schools. Though the number first reported was 1,454, the list shows 1,451 results.
But Moehle said there’s a significant caveat when it comes to his data.
"Some of these buildings are perfectly safe in their current condition, some of them may already have been retrofitted, but there will be some within this inventory of buildings that are likely to be judged as vulnerable," he said.
The list of potentially vulnerable buildings includes more than 200 commercial buildings, more than 200 schools, more than 100 residential buildings, and dozens of churches, hotels, hospitals, theaters and malls.
"The next step is to actually look at the list and try to start getting things verified, bring in more building inspectors, see what methods and science they used," Los Angeles City Councilman Mitch Englander told NBC4.
Data analyzed by the NBC4 I-Team finds that the maximum potential occupancy of those buildings is nearly half a million people.
At least 214 schools are on the list, including:
The LA Times map also reveals dozens of hospitals, including:
Some of the theaters, studios and malls listed include:
Renewed attention is being put on concrete buildings without more steel reinforcement than was thought necessary when they were built.
Quake shaking can cause vertical supports to fall, and when that happens, the building collapses into rubble and casualties are almost a certainty, Moehle said.
Determining the risk level in LA will require individual engineering inspections yet to be done. Scientists stressed to the LA Times the list may not be 100 percent accurate and that they have not reached conclusions about the hazards posed by the listed structures.
Last week, the LA City Council supported pursuing the resources to perform inspections of potentially at-risk buildings, but as of now, there’s no plan or funding in place -- yet.
"We're working with a state assembly member right now to create a property tax incentive so if you spent the money on retrofitting the building, you would actually get a property tax break," Englander said.
Last fall, some prominent buildings, including Capital Tower and Pantages Theater, were identified in a survey by the Los Angeles Times as vulnerable to quakes.
"I would hope that some action would be forthcoming," Moehle said. "It is a real opportunity to make a difference for seismic safety."