Long-Term Recovery of Historic Buildings

March 2008 (VOL. 26, NO. 1)

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This paper explores the long-term earthquake recovery of historic buildings. The inquiry examines the dynamics of recovery from the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake for three NGO and public buildings, and identifies the variables that influenced it. The investigation indicates that long-term earthquake recovery for historic buildings is challenging, dynamic, and can be improved. There are several variables that influence the complexity of the recovery but, complications in earthquake recovery can be reduced through pre-incident recovery planning. The inquiry also illustrates that recovery dynamics are varied, and the challenges are dissimilar for different buildings. Several variables influence historic buildings’ recovery and are shaped by the bureaucratic recovery processes, involved players, context of recovery, and the building itself.