The seismic response of rocking frames that consist of a rigid beam freely supported on rigid freestanding rectangular piers has received recent attention in the literature. Past studies have investigated the special case where, upon planar rocking motion, the beam maintains contact with the piers at their extreme edges. However, in many real scenarios, the beam‐to‐pier contact lies closer to the center of the pier, affecting the overall stability of the system. This paper investigates the seismic response of rocking frames under the more general case which allows the contact edge to reside anywhere in‐between the center of the pier and its extreme edge. The study introduces a rocking block model that is dynamically equivalent to a rocking frame with vertically symmetric piers of any geometry. The impact of top eccentricity (ie, the distance of the contact edge from the pier's vertical axis of symmetry) on the seismic response of rocking frames is investigated under pulse excitations and earthquake records. It is concluded that the stability of a top‐heavy rocking frame is highly influenced by the top eccentricity. For instance, a rocking frame with contacts at the extreme edges of the piers can be
moreseismically stable than a solitary block that is identical to one of the frame's piers, while a rocking frame with contacts closer to the centers of the piers can be lessstable. The concept of critical eccentricityis introduced, beyond which the coefficient of restitution contributes to a greater reduction in the response of a frame than of a solitary pier.