In September 2006 the Getty Conservation Institute, in partnership with the California Preservation Foundation, the California State Office of Historic Preservation, and US/ICOMOS, sponsored a two-day symposium and mobile workshop entitled "New Concepts in Seismic Strengthening of Historic Adobe Structures."
The purpose of the symposium was to raise awareness among California building officials and managers of historic properties about research and seismic shake-table tests carried out by the GCI's Getty Seismic Adobe Project (GSAP). This research has deepened understanding of how historic adobe structures perform in earthquakes and has led to the development of minimally invasive seismic strengthening methods.
The first day of the September event took place at the Getty Center and brought together more than seventy participants and Getty staff for formal presentations, case studies, and panel and audience discussions on the new seismic retrofit methods and the challenge of preserving historic adobes while meeting life-safety requirements.
An evening lecture for the general public, "The Quest for Earthquake-Resistant Construction in Europe and the Americas, 1726–1908," by architectural historian Stephen Tobriner, rounded out the program while bringing this area of research to a wider audience.
On the second day, a mobile workshop took place at the historic adobe site of Rancho Camulos in Piru, California, where the GSAP methods have been implemented at this National Historic Landmark.
Three publications documenting the Getty Seismic Adobe Project are now available free of charge in PDF format on the Getty Web site. A Spanish translation of the final volume is also available in PDF format. A brief video demonstrating seismic shake-table testing is also available on the Getty Web site.