Acronym
F/E
Category
Company
N. CA Established
1960
Media
Pasadena City Hall Seismic Retrofit
Pasadena City Hall Seismic Retrofit
Source: Forell/Elsesser Engineers
San Francisco City Hall Seismic Retrofit
San Francisco City Hall Seismic Retrofit
Source: Forell/Elsesser Engineers
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Source; Forell/Elsesser Engineers
Stanford McMurtry Art & Art History Building
Stanford McMurtry Art & Art History Building
Source; Forell/Elsesser Engineers
UC Berkeley Memorial Stadium Seismic Upgrade
UC Berkeley Memorial Stadium Seismic Upgrade
Source: Forell/Elsesser Engineers
UC Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive
UC Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive
Source; Forell/Elsesser Engineers
Significance to Structural Engineering History in Northern California

Forell/Elsesser Engineers is a structural engineering firm founded by structural engineers, Nicholas Forell and Eric Elsesser, in 1960. The company is headquartered in San Francisco’s Financial District.

Nicholas Forell moved to San Francisco and joined the architecture and engineering firm of John Lyon Reid and Partners (later called Reid, Rockwell, Banwell, and Tarics) and became Chief Engineer. He would later start his own practice in 1960. Eric Elsesser, a San Francisco native and Stanford University graduate, worked for the firm of John A. Blume Associates in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Forell and Elsesser, longtime friends and collaborators, merged their practices in 1969. Forell served as the first President of the firm, followed by Elsesser until the early 1990’s. David Friedman was President of the firm from 1994 until 2007. Simin Naaseh is the current President and CEO of the company.

Forell/Elsesser helped pioneer the use of “base isolation” for seismic retrofit applications in the United States with projects such as the Salt Lake City and County Building, San Francisco City Hall, Oakland City Hall, and the San Francisco Asian Art Museum. The company made its mark in the 1960’s and 1970’s with innovative structural designs for K-12 schools and corporate campuses in the San Francisco Bay Area. The legacy continued into the 1980’s and 1990’s with high profile projects such as the Pacific Gas & Electric Headquarters seismic retrofit, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Berkeley Civic Center seismic retrofit, the Pasadena City Hall and Utah State Capital historic seismic retrofits, and many new buildings at San Francisco International Airport, including the BART station. More recent projects include the UC Berkeley California Memorial Stadium seismic retrofit, SFMTA Central Subway Chinatown Station, UCSF Parnassus Ray & Dagmar Dolby Regeneration Medicine Building, and the new UC Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive.

Related Engineer(s)
  • Nicholas Forell
  • Eric Elsesser
  • David Friedman
  • Simin Naaseh
Related Structure(s)
Related Event(s)