Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Besides enjoying family time during our Thanksgiving trip to San Francisco, we played tourist too.

We took an audio tour of Alcatraz Island, one of the Golden Gate National Parks....and of course the home of the famous Alcatraz Prison.

Due to deteriorating buildings and high operating costs, this federal prison closed March 21, 1963. The average number of inmates was about 260 in the four cell blocks. This was considered a high security facility and housed many famous criminals.

One of the first stops for a prisoner upon coming to the Island....where prison attire was issued.

They all wore identical clothing, down to the shoes.

The showers......no privacy here!

A typical cell.....which is as tiny as it looks.

Three tiers of cells. The unruly inmates were 'segregated' in D block, also known as isolation.

And.....Kelly Hayashi.......our DIL......

Here's 'the perfect child' and 'perfect DIL'. There was barely enough room for two people to stand in the cell.

The guard tower and what remains of the Warden's house.

The view of San Francisco from the Island must have been a very tempting sight. Enough so, that 36 prisoners tried to escape what has become known as 'The Rock'. All but five were recaptured or otherwise accounted for. Three who were unaccounted for participated in the same breakout in June 1962. It was immortalized in the movie Escape from Alcatraz with Clint Eastwood.
The island also has an unobstructed view of the Golden Gate Bridge. We were lucky to have beautiful sunny and clear skies for our visit, though it was chilly and more so within the cold cement walls of the prison. But, I guess that was the point......it was not a recreation area!

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