42 buildings in Beverly Hills aren’t seismically retrofitted. Is yours at risk in an earthquake?

A sign reading "Beverly Hills" is in a city park.
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)
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If you live or work in Beverly Hills and your building was constructed before 1978, it may be in need of a seismic retrofit.

According to recently obtained data on 229 soft-story buildings in the city, 42 are not yet retrofitted. These buildings are now included on The Times’ searchable map tracking seismic retrofits in Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Pasadena and West Hollywood.

Thirteen buildings that are not retrofitted are also in liquefaction zones, areas where the ground can break during an earthquake.


Beverly Hills passed a retrofit program in December 2018 targeted at soft-story buildings, typically low-rise apartments that can house dozens of people and have a flimsy first floor for carports. The city’s program applies to wood-frame buildings that were built before January 1978 and have parking underneath the second floor of the building.

Map showing buildings in Beverly Hills that are retrofitted and not retrofitted

In all, about 6,000 buildings are potentially in need of a retrofit in Los Angeles County, according to city records analyzed by The Times. A retrofit strengthens vulnerable buildings to better withstand shaking from earthquakes, making them less likely to collapse or suffer damage. In December 2023, The Times published its searchable database of nearly 17,000 buildings to help readers determine the status of buildings in which they live or work.

Over the last six months, The Times has continued this tracking effort by requesting public records, sifting through building permits and speaking with engineers and residents of Los Angeles.

The Times received updated data from West Hollywood, Santa Monica and Pasadena and added new data from Beverly Hills. Culver City has provided The Times with data, which will be added to the map at a later date.

Through continued reporting, The Times learned that data provided by the Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety contained discrepancies compared with its own permitting website. That site contains detailed information on every permit attached to a building, including maintenance, safety complaints and its seismic retrofit history.

After interviews with building owners and residents, The Times found that the city’s permitting database and the Building and Safety Department’s retrofit records did not match due to a technical issue. In response to our inquiries, city building officials are working to update the agency’s databases. Once The Times receives corrected data, we will update our map.

The Times requested progress reports from every city with a seismic retrofit ordinance. Since the first version of our map was published, Pasadena building officials have made updates to their database, digitizing paper permits and verifying records from building owners.


We mapped the Los Angeles-area condos, apartment and office buildings that still need a seismic retrofit. Large buildings built before 1996 may be in need of a retrofit.

June 19, 2024

As a result, an additional 38 buildings were marked as retrofitted. Pasadena’s total number of retrofitted soft-story buildings is 98. An additional 404 buildings are in the process of retrofitting.

Most of the buildings in Los Angeles awaiting improvements are soft-story condos and apartments. Many of the deadlines to retrofit the largest soft-story buildings have passed, though some have been extended because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the South Bay, Torrance officials passed an ordinance in March 2023, but letters haven’t been sent to all building owners yet. Once officials have identified the buildings, The Times will add these places to our map.