The Randall Museum
is owned and operated
by the San Francisco
Recreation and Park Department

Philip A. Ginsburg,
General Manager

Living with a Restless Earth

We live in earthquake country. Other people live with tornadoes, lightning, avalanches, or hurricanes. In the Bay Area, earthquakes happen every day - but most are small and only a seismograph can detect them.

At the Randall Museum's permanent earthquake exhibit, "Living with a Restless Earth," you can make your own quake by jumping on the floor. A seismometer in the Museum's lobby will let you know the intensity of your "floor quake." Another seisometer in the basement of the Randall is connected to a seismograph in the exhibit that registers actual earthquakes. Visitors to the Museum can view our real-time recordings of recent quakes all around the world and learn about plate tectonics while playing with our hands-on replica of the Hayward Fault.

Our earthquake exhibit also includes full-sized replica of an earthquake refugee shack. The Great San Francisco Earthquake and Fire of 1906 destroyed more than half of the City's homes, but most of the people escaped. Many San Franciscans adapted to life in temporary homes like this one while the city was rebuilt.

Around the corner from the seismograph and refugee shack, you'll find a very popular new addition to our earthquake exhibit: three shake tables on which you can build LEGO™ structures and test their ability to withstand earthquakes of different strengths.


Randall Museum (415) 554-9600