We begin our tour at McCone Hall, home of the Earth Sciences and Map Library, the Departments of Earth and Planetary Science and Geography, and the Berkeley Seismological Laboratory.
The saber-toothed cat, Smilodon californicus, whose likeness menaces the southern entrance to the building, is the official California State Fossil. It was sculpted by Victor Bergeron (of Trader Vic's fame) who is more widely known around the globe for his Mai Tai than for his sculptures.
Examples of gold, the
official State Mineral;
serpentine, the official State Rock;
and benitoite, the official State Gemstone,
can all be found in the geology display cases inside McCone.
On the west side of the building, we see the end result of a recently-completed seismic retrofit. The "seismic tower" on the west side of the building is designed to provide lateral support to the building from strong ground motions anticipated from the Hayward Fault.
The north end of the building is cut into the hillside and the south end has been built up on a pad of largelyunconsolidated fill. Such transitional pads are particularly problematic in design.