Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary—Historic Prison Worth Visiting in San Francisco (2023)
The Alcatraz island is about 1.25 miles (2.0 Km) from coast of San Francisco. The island has Fort and a prison. Fort was built in 1850 and Prison was built in 1912. The Alcatraz prison was used as United State Army Military Prison. In 1933 the prison was restored to improve structure and living condition. Since 1934 prison was used as high security prison. In the year 1935 and 1936 there were serious structural damages to the buildings close to the cliff of island. The repair work included adding several infrastructures to support the building. Later there were several improvement were made for the officer quarters to make it easy for the families to stay on the island.
The escape from prison was considered impossible because of distance to swim in cold water as well as constant high water force and waves. The prison cell were 7 feet tall. The length and width of prison was 9 feet and 7 feet. The D block was meant to hold the dangerous and unreliable prisoners. Present day the Alcatraz is the prime place for visitors and 1.5 million visitors come to the island every year. The island is under the management of National Park Services.
There were several heart breaking and fearsome stories linked to Alcatraz prison Most of these stories are described at the island during visit by guide and also in the library. The island was known as “Uncle Sam’s Devil’s Island” and also “Rock”. The cost of management of prison was lot more than similar prisons in other state of USA. The prison was closed on March 21, 1963.
There are ferries every ½ hour from San Francisco. Visitors need 2 to 3 hours to see entire island and prison houses. Tourists can also stay for the entire day at the island. There is audio tour as well as several exhibits that describes the place, events and locations. Most areas are open during day and some aread are closed during evening for safety.
Visitors are taken to the cell house by a touring guide and guide will explain the layout of island, prison as well as rules. The ferry charges $ 40 that includes the island entry fee. There are other bundled tour options for the visitors to take for additional $ 25 to $ 50, like night tour and scenic tour.