Saturday, 11 February 2012

Alcatraz, San Francisco, 2007 Part 2

On Part 1 of my Alcatraz trip blog, which you can read it here, we just landed on the island. And we are making our way to the prison block. This staircase and entrance leads to the Prisoner Processing area.

This is where newly arrived prisoners are stripped, bathed and issued prison uniforms.

This is the bathing area, in front of the uniform dispensing area. New arrivals are stripped, searched and bathed in front of prison guards. This is the only communal bathe area. The one that was featured in the movie 'The Rock' does not exist.

After the shower and issued uniform, the prisoners are escorted to the general population. I lifted this image of the layout of the 3 prison blocks in Alcatraz. The hallway between each blocks are named after famous streets.

In this picture, you see the handicapped person operating the clutch- levers that operate the prison doors.

This is the between Block A and Block B, Michigan Avenue.

The condition inside the cell. Take note of the toilet as there are different toilets in different blocks.

The view from one of the exits. Contrast the dark nature of the prison with the outside light. Take note of the water tower.

Each cell contained a sleeping bed, a sink, a toilet and a fold-able table and seat for writing. Two shelves are personal items are on the back wall..

New prisoners are issued the manual on the do's and don'ts in Alcatraz.

Another version of the cell. This is on D Block where the most difficult prisoners are held.The toilet is different and there is no writing desk. The prisoners held in this block could see the colors of the sunset stream in through the windows facing their cells and those on the top two tiers could even see San Francisco across the Bay. They'd see the city lights at night and could hear the sounds of music and voices on passing boats and ships. One might think the prisoners would have welcomed the reminders of freedom D block offered but in actuality the 'Sunset Strip' was considered a form of torture to see what they couldn't have. Prisoners here are allowed out one hour each week in the recreation yard and twice a week for quick showers.

Another view of the prison block. I was not aware at the time of this photo but Al Capone's cell is on the 2nd floor, 4th from the last. Used to be cell 181 but was repainted to cell 206. This was said to be the best area for prisoners as they get the afternoon sun and a regular breeze. Al has a view as well from his cell.

Next to the water tower is the Recreation Yard. ( This is also the scene where Ed Harris meets Sean Connery in the movie 'The Rock'.

Another view of the location.

This is the entrance to the Recreation yard.  As you enter here, there is a nice view of the San Francisco Bay area. This is the only location high enough for the prisoners to view it.

As you make your way down, the view is blocked by the high concrete wall. There used to be a baseball field at the end of the yard. (

Another view of the yard, from the other corner. From here you can see the water tank. (

The scene at night.(

This is the prison guard rest area, in the Administration Block.

From outside the Administration Block, is the lighthouse. I like the architecture of this structure.

The corner stone of the prison block, inscribed as 1909. The year that it was built.

The view from the Admin Building.

The main entry to the Admin Building office. The words 'Freedom' is vandalised on the state seal. This was done by the Native Americans when they seized Alcatraz and staged a sit-in.

Going back to the Prison Block, this is one of the exhibition that showed the Escape from Alcatraz. The dummy head that was used to fool the guards. You can see the hole in the wall which was dugged through.

Another view.

Next is the hospital


This is the room that was used in the movie 'The Rock' where Ed Harris and his Marines set up their command center. According to the guide, the ceiling has fake blood used from the movie.

The barracks, where the families of the prison guards used to stay.

As we board the boat and moved away from the island.

On our way to Pier 33. You can see the short buildings below are part of Pier 33.

As we docked into Pier 33, that ends my trip to Alcatraz.

It was truly a wonderful trip to a historical island. I definitely recommend a visit.

If you miss Part 1 of my Alcatraz trip, you can read here.

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