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Unreinforced masonry buildings (URMs) are historic reminders
of Seattle’s past. For more than a century URMs have
been host to shops and hotels, apartments and schools,
entrepreneurs and small businesses. Even today URMs continue
to play an ongoing role in the life of the city. People
are attracted to their diversity of character and human scale.
Unfortunately, URMs are vulnerable to earthquakes. When
shaken, bricks and mortar can crumble, floors can collapse,
and parapets can fracture and break putting tenants and
owners at risk of injury or death.