This paper evaluates the performance of closely spaced plane steel framed buildings interconnected by horizontal structural links to prevent pounding during earthquake excitations. Friction damping capability is incorporated into the modelling of these structural links in order to also determine their potential for dissipating energy during a seismic event. Six pairs of building models, having widely different dynamic characteristics, are considered in this investigation. A parametric study, utilizing nonlinear time-history dynamic analysis, is performed to determine the optimum properties for the structural links when each building pair is excited by three different historical earthquake ground motions. This is followed by a detailed reponse analysis comparison of each of these optimized friction damped coupled structures against their uncoupled and elastically coupled counterparts. Key words: earthquake, steel, frames, inelastic, pounding, friction, damping.