Alcatraz… who has not heard of the infamous island prison located in San Francisco Bay?! But, do you know what other uses this famous island, often referred to as “The Rock”, has been used for?
The island was first discovered by the Spanish in 1775, then sold to the United States in 1849. The island was originally planned with a lighthouse in 1854 and a military fortification by 1859. Alcatraz did not become the famous federal prison until 1933 and remained so until its closure in 1963. In 1972, the island was opened officially to the public. Finally in 1986, Alcatraz was designated a National Historic Landmark and is now part of the National Parks Service as a part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The island also houses the site of the oldest operating lighthouse on the US West Coast.
The following are images of Alcatraz that I shot with film showcasing some of the elements that I found interesting – there is even an image showing a large bullet hole in one of the prison glass windows. The Golden Gate Bridge is even visible from inside the prison (image farther below) and was sure to have been a tremendous piece of bait to the prisoners on a daily basis. Definitely, a trip worth making!
Note — Aug 11 marks the anniversary of the first civilian prisoners landing on the island in 1934. This group of federal prisoners were classified as the “most dangerous” prisoners in the federal system. A few weeks later Al Capone arrived followed by George “Machine Gun” Kelly.