This paper presents an investigation about the capabilities of simplified kinematic limit analysis for the safety evaluation and for the design of strengthening of masonry historical buildings. Limit analysis allows, with a reduced number of mechanical properties and for a given ultimate condition of the structure, affordable safety analysis and design of strengthening to the practitioners. Masonry buildings subjected to earthquake show in most cases local failure mechanisms rather than global failure mechanisms due to the lack of integrity of structure. For this reason, simplified kinematic limit analysis has been accepted as a method to design the strengthening of masonry buildings, according to the Italian Ordinance (O.P.C.M. 3431). To validate the applicability of this method, its results had been compared with those provided by three dimensional macro block limit analysis (Bustamante, 2003) for the Via Arizzi house. It is worth noting that results of simplified kinematic limit analysis provided similar results as those achieved by 3D macro block. Also this method was implemented to seismic safety assessment of Tekyeh Amir Chakhmagh in Iran based on the results obtained for the out of plane and in plane behaviour of walls. Tekyeh Amir Chakhmagh is an early 19th century tiled edifice that was built to serve as grand-stand for watching religious rites and also provided an imposing entrance to Amir Chakhmagh bazaar. This stunning three-story facade of the building is one of the most recognizable and unusual buildings in Iran.