My House after the Earthquake

This is a page of pictures of the house in which I was living on October 17, 1989. For obvious reasons, I was not living there on October 18, 1989. The house was at 314 Spruce Street, Santa Cruz, California, USA. It was about four blocks from the worst damage in downtown Santa Cruz.

Actually, it wasn't my house; I rented an apartment there from Karon Properties. They have now built an apartment building there. (It was green, last I looked.)

These pictures were taken on the weekend after the quake, by my brother Dan.

[thumbnail] This is a picture of me in front of my house. (76K JPEG) This gives you a general picture of what the house looked like afterwards. The house was built around 1893. Notice the Victorian gingerbread hanging by a nail. My grandfather still has some of the ornamentation at his house.

The house was cut into apartments at some point. I had a two-room apartment, first floor, at the front of the house. My bay window is cut off here at the edge of the picture. The boarded-up door right behind my head was my front door. The yellow tape is, of course, a "caution do not enter" tape, like they have at crime scenes.

It is really weird to be in a house where all the rectangles have turned to parallelograms.

[thumbnail] The front doorway to the house.(34K JPEG) Several of the apartments (not mine) were accessible through this door. You can't see the nice stained glass piece above the door. It would have been nice to save. To enter my apartment, you went up these concrete stairs and turned left.

When they talk about "red tagging" a house, they mean it literally, as you can see.

[thumbnail] Side view this time.(31K JPEG) The same thing, only looking through the porch area into my door. It's too dark to see anything in there, unfortunately.

[thumbnail] The foundation under the bay window.(64K JPEG) This is the other side of the bay window shown in the other pictures. As you can see, the house was not in good condition. Beware your house falling of its foundation.

[thumbnail] This was my kitchen. (55K JPEG) I, my family, my friend Doug, and any number of passing strangers braved danger to get inside the house and get all my belongings out on Wednesday, the day after the quake. (There were few aftershocks on Wednesday, but quite a few on Thursday.) The owners took the stove out (that's what was in the empty space next to the refrigerator). You can see the debris on the floor. Most of that was plaster that fell off the walls. Through the doorway in my bedroom you can see bare walls where plaster fell off.

You can see where the ceiling fan chains are hanging down from the ceiling. We put the ceiling fan up just one week before the place fell down. Figures.

I don't remember how many pictures we took. If I find more, I'll put them up here.