Sunday, November 1, 2009

Alcatraz... The Rock

Life on the Rock, isn’t easy! Good thing we are just visiting. :) A lot of these pictures you should recognize from some of the movies made about this place.

The big building here is building 64, the original barracks. Behind that is the Sally Port the oldest structure on the island. The sally port dates to the 1850s when Alcatraz was fortified by the US Army. You can see one of the guard towers to the right, the guards were locked in the towers for 8 hours shifts.
Control room
The next photo’s are of the intake area, they showered here and received their prison uniforms.
This is “Broadway”. New prisoners were marched down Broadway when they first arrived, to the taunts of the other prisoners looking out of their cells.
The Dining hall or “The Gas Chamber”. The dining hall had a tear gas system mounted in the ceiling in case of riots.
Library, no inmates were allowed in the library. They were only allowed to check books out.
Made famous by Clint Eastwood in the movie Escape from Alcatraz, this is one of the 5ft by 9ft cells that Frank Morris and brothers John and Clarence Anglin escaped from and were never seen again.

This is the power plant for the island

The Exercise Yard. On Alcatraz, the ability to go out to the yard was a privilege that had to be earned.

Alcatraz was the home of the West Coast’s first lighthouse. Equipped with a simple oil lamp, the Alcatraz light began guiding ships through the narrow entrance to the bay in 1854. In 1909, when construction of the cellhouse threatened to block the light beam to the north, the old lighthouse was replaced with the 84-foot tower seen on the island today. The tower’s automated rotating light, supplemented by powerful foghorns on either side of the island, continues to be a key navigational aid.


  1. Did your kids do the Junior Ranger program on Alcatraz, that looked pretty interesting to ours. We won't be that way until May but already thinking about it.

    Did you pre-book far in advance?

    Thanks, Ali

  2. Hi!
    We pre-booked our tickets the day before we went to Alcatraz. Make sure you go to the official site to pre-book because the other sites charge more ( You can pre-book much earlier than that if you know when you are going to be there, especially if you are going in the spring. There were a LOT of people going when we went. Our boat left about noon and it took all day to go around it all! You need a full day just for this! The boats run about every half hour. This is one of the few places our kids did not do the jr. ranger program. There was no one in the ranger office and we couldn’t find any info on it while we were there. But we all enjoyed the visit. It was a lot of fun and very educational. The kids really got into it!
    Have fun!