Understanding the Performance of Historic Masonry Structures in Mayfield, KY after the 2021 Tornadoes

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Due to the rise in tornadoes in the United States, the built environment continues to suffer damage. Masonry buildings comprise a significant portion of the built heritage environment for most countries and are susceptible to natural hazards. However, research at the intersection of extreme wind loading and structural strengthening often neglects historic and aging infrastructure, particularly unreinforced masonry buildings, leading to their exclusion from the building code. This study aims to identify various factors that affect damages to unreinforced masonry structures during tornado loading. To begin, the structural performance of historic masonry constructions after the Mayfield, KY tornado in 2021 was evaluated, with multimodal data collected on-site, including aerial photographs, street-view imagery, and detailed field notes on observed damages. The on-site data included aerial photographs, street-view imagery, and detailed field notes for the observed damages. This data was supplemented by archival research and analyzed to identify the underlying relationships between building attributes and damage levels. The results indicate that damages in historic buildings were extensive and proportional to the year of construction and the distance from the tornado but not necessarily to the retrofit status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)120-134
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Cultural Heritage
StatePublished - Sep 1 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Conservation
  • Chemistry (miscellaneous)
  • Archaeology
  • Materials Science (miscellaneous)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications

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