News

Woodside: Town Hall to undergo structural analysis

 

The town of Woodside will be engaging a structural engineer to analyze Town Hall and Independence Hall for resistance to damage by earthquakes.

The Town Council asked Town Manager Kevin Bryant for the analysis at its Sept. 26 meeting after discussing a recent story in the Almanac describing a commercially prepared map of the Woodside Fire Protection District showing the district after a simulated magnitude 7 earthquake along the Hayward fault in the East Bay.

The map showed two areas where buildings might lean, partially or totally collapse, or slide off their foundations: Canada College and the area near the corner of Woodside and Whiskey Hill roads – the location of the town's governmental complex.

The rest of the fire district – which includes Woodside, Portola Valley and nearby unincorporated areas such as Ladera and Emerald Hills – is shown as experiencing "moderate to extensive damage" such as fallen chimneys, plaster and false ceilings.

The map was the work of a Palo Alto software company, One Concern, that uses an algorithm and big data, including seismic and building construction data, to create maps showing potential damage to structures from earthquakes in real time and before a quake happens, based on simulations that include a given quake's magnitude and epicenter.

The fire district and the towns of Woodside and Portola Valley are in the first year of a three-year $50,000 license agreement with One Concern for mapping and analysis services.

Woodside Town Hall was dedicated in 1990, and Independence Hall dates from 1884. It was moved to its current site in 1991.

The structural analysis for Town Hall will compare building codes from 1990 with those of today and advise if additional work is needed, Mr. Bryant said.

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Comments

Like this comment
Posted by Rick Moen
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Oct 4, 2017 at 11:11 am

Rick Moen is a registered user.

Certainly, this is commendable diligence on the part of town officials.

I notice that One Concern's demo map, as published by Almanac News, predicted partial or total collapse of buildings in the vicinity of Town Hall, but did not cite specific buildings. The underlying data inputs to the AI software were described as having many sources including building construction data and live sensors. But my point is: There are quite a number of other buildings in that cluster, not just Independence Hall but also Pioneer Hotel (and Saloon) and adjoining Wells Fargo branch, plus the cluster of buildings westward along Woodside Road starting at Whiskey Hill, running to Mountain Home Road and Roberts Market. I'm sure no few of these buildings predate modern building codes. So, I hope broader scrutiny will follow.

Rick Moen
West Menlo Park


Like this comment
Posted by JA3+
a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 4, 2017 at 11:23 am

"I'm sure no few of these buildings predate modern building codes. So, I hope broader scrutiny will follow."

A number of these buildings, however, have been extensively remodeled in the past twenty (20) or so years: specifically, the buildings now occupied by Coldwell Banker and the Village Pub (newly built after demolition of the prior building); 2973 Woodside Rd (just now wrapping up extensive re-construction); 2975, 2977, and 2979 Woodside Rd now occupied by JPMorgan Chase Bank and The Village Doctor(renovated circa 2003 and again circa 2013, with extensive structural work done throughout the building on both occasions); 2983 Woodside Rd now occupied by Nano Dimensions (remodeled by JPMorgan Chase's then-venture capital arm circa 2000); and 2989 Woodside Rd occupied by Crane Street Capital with a pending change in tenancy (remodeled circa 1998 prior to occupancy by Cashin; and again circa 2011 and 2012 prior to Crane's occupancy).

While I agree it's always wise to pay attention to the details, beware of using a broad brush to paint when not aware of such details ;)

~Insider


Like this comment
Posted by Rick Moen
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Oct 5, 2017 at 2:07 pm

Rick Moen is a registered user.

Why, yes, I specifically had in mind as of possible concern Independence Hall and Pioneer Hotel. The others along Woodside I mostly just bicycle past, and haven't had occasion to look at. (I don't think anyone was confusing my rather general expression of concern with an engineering report.)

Thank heavens for reconstruction/remodeling, or the Bay Area would have rather many more earthquake deathtraps than it does.

Rick Moen
West Menlo Park


Like this comment
Posted by JA3+
a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 5, 2017 at 4:59 pm

However, the first comment states, in part:

"... plus the cluster of buildings westward along Woodside Road starting at Whiskey Hill, running to Mountain Home Road and Roberts Market. I'm sure no few of these buildings predate modern building codes. So, I hope broader scrutiny will follow."

My comment directly addresses this portion of the first comment above.


Like this comment
Posted by Rick Moen
a resident of Menlo Park: University Heights
on Oct 6, 2017 at 12:13 pm

Rick Moen is a registered user.

I believe it 's clear that enough of the buildings on that block may predate modern building codes to justified my concern that 'no few of them' do. (One might add the historic-looking building housing the Woodside Community Museum, Friends of Huddart & Wanderlich Parks, and Sequoia Audubon Society.) And any is too many, especially given that earthquake-triggered fires are not known for respecting property boundaries. Still, I'm delighted to hear that the western strip need not raise particular worries.

Rick Moen
West Menlo Park


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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