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Stanford Report, October 13, 1999

Then & Now

Aided by earthquake reserve funds, federal emergency-relief grants and alumni donations, Stanford has spent more than $250 million on quake repair and retrofitting projects in the past 10 years. In the process, planners seized the opportunity to restore some of the university’s most beloved architectural treasures, resulting in a campus not only safer and more functional, but more beautiful. Below is a recap of some of the hardest-hit buildings on campus, along with their status 10 years later.

Memorial Church

Built: 1903

Damage: Structural damage to crossing, the domed area where the nave, transepts and chancel intersect. Stones in arches cracked and slipped. Pews damaged by falling sandstone and mosaic.

Status: Restored in 1992 at a cost of $8.5 million (all privately raised); the first major campus building to be renovated after the 1989 quake.

Improvements: Dome and arches reinforced; interior cleaned; balconies reopened. Other improvements included better lighting, sound and heating systems.

Hardest hit by the quake were older structures in the heart of campus, including Jane Stanford’s beloved Memorial Church, which was strewn with chunks of masonry, fragments of gold and blue Venetian tile, and splintered wooden pews.

Buildings 300, 310, 370 (English Department; Provost's Office; Values Technology Science & Society)

Damage: Severe structural damage in parts of the Quad linked to Language and Geology Corners; major crack in corner wall closest to Geology Corner. Loose ceiling tiles and beams.

Status: Restored in 1991-92 at costs of $1.7 million, $1.6 million and $1.5 million, respectively; funded by earthquake facilities reserve.

Improvements: Sandstone walls reinforced; new diaphragms and shear walls added; arcades strengthened; interior renovated.

East and West Portals

Damage: Severe structural damage.

Status: Restored just before the 1991 centennial celebration at a cost of about $1.3 million.

Building 260 (Language Corner)

Damage: Interior partition system weakened; serious cracks in walls; extensive damage to plaster ceilings. Classrooms were closed immediately after the quake and several offices relocated.

Status: Restored in 1996 at a cost of $13.2 million.

New name: Pigott Hall.

Improvements: Reinforcement of sandstone walls with shotcrete applied to interior side; plywood diaphragm added to the second and third floors. Upgraded mechanical and electrical systems; interior renovation.

Building 320 (Geology Corner)

Damage: Exterior and interior walls cracked and weakened, floors uneven; extensive damage to plaster ceilings.

Status: Repaired and reopened in 1996 at a cost of $10 million.

New name: Braun Corner.

Improvements: Arcades strengthened by replacing columns with reinforced concrete replicas. Other improvements included reinforcement of the sandstone walls with shotcrete applied to interior; plywood diaphragm added to the second and third floors. Upgraded mechanical and electrical systems.

Building 30: (African and Afro-American Studies; Modern Thought and Literature)

Damage: Serious cracks in exterior archway, interior damage.

Status: Restored in 1996 at a cost of $2.25 million.

Received a 1998 American Institute of Architects Merit Award for its rehabilitation and historic preservation.

Hanna House

Built: 1937, considered to be one of Frank Lloyd Wright's most significant structures

Damage: Severe damage to central chimney and fireplace, which are key to building's structural framework.

Status: Reopened in 1999 at a cost of $2 million.

Improvements: Seismic reinforcement while maintaining Wright's original vision.

Graduate School of Business

Built: 1965

Damage: Major cracks in shear walls. Basement and ground floors remained open after the quake; floors one through three were closed.

Status: Classroom-library wing renovated summer 1990; office wing renovated summer 1991 at a total cost of $6.2 million, about $5 million from gifts.

Improvements: New shear walls added; other walls strengthened.


Built: 1891, restored 1906

Damage: Suffered serious structural damage, including cracks in exterior walls, displacement at eaves. Rotundas in imminent danger of collapse. Balustrade removed from top for safety.

Status: Restored in 1999 at a cost of $36 million.

New name: The Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts.

Improvements: New 42,000- square-foot wing; full structural upgrade of original building, including addition of steel beams and shear walls. New climate control, fire protection, electrical and security systems.

Student Housing

Damage: Fifteen older wooden student housing units damaged. Some chimneys fell, some houses shifted from foundations; plaster and walls cracked.

Status: About half the Row Houses were reopened within a week or two of the quake. Columbae, Durand, Roth and Theta Xi required extensive work, completed within a year of the quake. Synergy was considered beyond repair and demolished in 1991; the vacant Delta Tau Delta was burned by an arsonist and razed. The former Cooksey House was repaired in 1993 and became Synergy.

In many campus libraries, like the Law Library (pictured above), bookshelves toppled in a domino effect. During the days that followed, library volunteers and staff began the daunting task of reshelving some 750,000 volumes.

Green Library West Wing

Built: 1919

Damage: Severe structural damage; hollow clay tile interior walls seriously cracked. Severe cracking in the rotunda and walls that define the space under it. Cracking of perimeter unreinforced masonry walls.

Cracking in the reinforced concrete diaphragm slabs. Upper floors closed and books removed to interim storage space.

Status: Reopened in 1999 at a cost of $56 million -- the last major Loma Prieta-damaged structure to be restored on campus.

New name: The Bing Wing.

Improvements: New structural shear walls added; reconfigured utility systems, including improved wiring for computers. New information center and resource centers, improved traffic flow between east and west wings. SR

Photos: News Service Archives