The series of major earthquakes which occurred in south-central Chile during May of 1960 were of large Richter magnitude and were accompanied by major geologic changes. Epicenters were distributed throughout populated regions; the earthquakes violently shook many substantial buildings which had been specifically designed to resist earthquake forces.
In general, damage to earthquake resistive structures of reinforced concrete, structural steel, and wood frame was slight and the overall performance was quite satisfactory. When major damage did occur to structures with earthquake bracing, construction practices were almost always recognizably poor. The minor damage to earthquake resistive structures was instructive and a number of case histories are discussed. Of particular interest are the instances of shear wall rotation on compressible soils, construction and design errors, relative rigidity problems, and the performance of inverted pendulum structures.