Shear Walls in the Field
One Unlucky Building
One of the unreinforced masonry buildings downtown. Not only did
they lose the front and back walls, they lost all of their storefront glazing.

Wood Framed Home
This home used to sit on short wood walls. When the earthquake came, those
walls collapsed.  The fireplace peeled away.  But look how the 1x straight
sheathing is still holding the wall together.

The Big Easy
Here is a three-sided box structure on main street.  Rotation of the building
not only did in the storefront, it damaged a few of the side windows too.

Listing to Port
If you view this photo closely you can actually see the bend in the exterior
wall line at left.  Three-sided boxes can be designed to resist forces but there
is no guarantee they will return to their previous shape.

Walk This Way
Here the larger adjacent building has pushed the smaller out of plumb.
Seismic gaps in new construction are meant to correct this problem.