Back to California Page

Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Page Two


"You are entitled to food, clothing, shelter, and medical attention. Anything else you get is a privilege" -- Number 5, Alcatraz Prison Rules and Regulations, 1934

Ever since I read a book about great prison escapes when I was in elementary school, I was always kinda fasinated with Alcatraz. About two weeks ago I found myself in San Francisco. I paid 16 bucks and hopped on a boat to go wander around the island and take lots of pictures

Taken on the boat, heading towards Alcatraz from Pier 39

The original dock was completed in 1854 and has been modified and enlarged several times since then. The large four story building immedediately opposite the dock was once a military barracks. With virtually bomb proof 10 foot thick walls, this building was intended to house soldiers and cannons to gaurd the dock. The guard tower is a remnant of the federal penitentiary era. During those years, six free standing towers on Alcatraz were manned by armed guards, whose clear view made escapes by prisoners extemely difficult.

The follow photos from the Eastern part of the Island. I bought a self guided tourbook when I arrived, and while it contains a ton of information, they didn't bother to include anything about this area. Feel free to fill me in on any infromation or facts.

The storehouse and warehouse

The island's power plant

Model Industries Building.

The golden gate bridge is off in the distance

The post exchange/Officers' club was build in 1910 and was the local general store, a place for soldiers and their families to buy food and personal goods. When Alcatraz became a federal prision in 1934, the PX was converted into a recreation hall and offiers club, complete with a dance fllor, gymnasium, two lane bowling alley and soda fountain. The building was one of several that was destroyed by fire in June 1970.

The Islands morgue. The first shot kinda sucks, but I stuck my camera in between the metal bars on the window to snap a photo of the slab where they do whatever it is they do to people when they die. The second shot is of two hambeasts almost blocking the entire view of the morgue

The Warden's house cammanded the island. It had 17 large rooms and windows with views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the lights of San Francisco. Built in the 1920s, it was originally the home of the military prison commandant. Ornamental gardens were painted in the terraced areas, and a greenhouse attached to one side of the house was used to grow a variety of plants.

The lighthouse, as seens from the parade grounds. On June 1, 1854, the lighthouse keeper lit the oil lamp for the first time, making the Alcatraz light the first one in operation on the Pacific Coast. In 1909, the 84 foot concreate lighthouse in that photo replaced the original one. In 1963 after the prision closed, the lighthouse was automated and the last keeps of the lighthouse left the island, but it is still in operation today thanks to the U.S Coast Guard.

San Francsico, as seen from Alcatraz

The areas where the guards and their families lived were actually quite beautiful. The children were given small plots of land to plant and those plants are still growing strong without any help for 40 years

And finally, the part you have all been waiting for....

The main entrance to the cell house.

The row of cells in the middle of the cellhouse was nicknamed "Broadway"

What it looks like to be behind bars, or "trapped in a jail cell factory, send help"

The cafeteria, which was the most dangerous place in the prison. They installed devices that allowed them to release tear gas with the push of a button.

The kitchen. All the knives and whatnot had their outline painted on the wall in black paint so it was easy to tell if someone was trying to steal one

Solitary. The Birdman spent something like 14 months locked up in this cell.

A replica of the head Frank Morris and brothers John and Clarence Anglin made to help conceal their escape.

That's about it, I guess I will end this with some "Alcatraz Fun Facts"


To contact Abandoned But Not Forgotten please e-mail us at with any questions or submissions you may want to contribute to the site.


Check out our Forums