Alcatraz Island provides a detailed insight into the location of the First Lighthouse and the US West Coast Fortress, the notorious Federal Penitentiary, which has long been closed to the public, and the history of the 18-month occupation by Indians of all tribes. The historic rock also has a natural side: gardens, tidal pools, bird colonies and unrivaled views of the bay.
Location: Alcatraz Island is situated in San Francisco Bay. Around 2 km off the coast of San Francisco, California, USA.
Purpose: The small island was established with facilities for a lighthouse, a military fortification, a military prison and a federal prison from 1934 to 1963. The island was occupied for more than 19 months by a group of San Native Americans from San Francisco, which was involved in a wave of domestic activism across the country, with public protests in the 1970s. In 1972, Alcatraz became part of a National Recreation Area and in 1986 received the National Historic Landmark award.
Landmarks of Alcatraz Island: Since 1972, The Island was included as a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The entire island of Alcatraz was included in the National Register of Historic Places in 1976 and was also declared a National Historic Landmark in 1986. The National Park Service has published a plan entitled Development Concept and Alcatraz Assessment environment that has doubled the amount of Alcatraz accessible to the public to allow visitors to enjoy its landscapes and the life of birds, marine animals and animals. Like the National Park Service, Alcatraz Island includes variants of alternative and historical names.
1. Baker Beach: Baker Beach is a small beach and a rocky coastal area on the west side of Alcatraz Island, off the coast of San Francisco, California.
2. Alcatraz Wharf: Alcatraz Wharf is situated on the southeastern part of Alcatraz Island, in the San Francisco Bay, California. Classified as building number 33 of the National Historic Landmark of Alcatraz Island, its historical name variants were “Alcatraz Dock” and “Alcatraz Pier”. It is the primary access point to Alcatraz.
3. Building 64: Building 64 also known as Building 64 Residential Apartments, which was the first building, built on Alcatraz Island to house military officers and their families living on the island.
4. Fort Alcatraz: Fort Alcatraz was a coastal fortification of the United States Army on Alcatraz Island, near the mouth of the San Francisco Bay in California. Part of the Third system of fixed fortifications, although very different from most other works of the Third system. It was also used to gather and train recruits.
5. Alcatraz Dining Hall: Alcatraz dining room which often referred to Mess Hall. It is the dining room of the Alcatraz federal penitentiary where prisoners and staff ate their meals.
6. The Former Military Chapel: Located near the port and pier of Sally and the building 64 residential apartments, the former military chapel is a building on Alcatraz Island, off the coast of San Francisco, was built in the 1920s in a mission-revival style to house the officers in the island’s military prison. The ground floor had lodgings for the officers and their families who worked in the military prison and the top floor was used as a school and chapel.
7. The Light House: The Alcatraz Island Lighthouse is a lighthouse that is the first built on the west coast of the United States. It is located at the southern end of the island, near the entrance to the prison on Alcatraz Island, in San Francisco Bay, California. The first lighthouse on the island was completed in 1854 and served the bay at the time as a citadel and a military prison.
8. Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary: Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary was an extreme security federal prison on Alcatraz Island which is also known as the United States Penitentiary. It is located 1.25 miles off the coast of San Francisco, California.
9. Alcatraz Morgue: Alcatraz Morgue is the morgue on the island of Alcatraz which is located on the northwest side of the island towards the center, halfway between the Alcatraz Water Tower and the Dining Room, below the side of the Recreation Yard.
10. Recreation Yard: The recreation deck was used by the inmates of the Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary between 1934 and 1963. It is situated in front of the dining room to the south of the end of the D-Block on a high level surrounded by a high wall and a fence above.
Tourism: Today, facilities of the island are controlled by the National Park Service as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. Alcatraz Island was once an abandoned prison, the oldest operating lighthouse site on the west coast of the United States, ancient military barricade and natural features such as natural pools and a colony of seabirds: mostly western gulls, cormorants and egrets is now open to tourism.
Wild Life: Because of being abandoned place, the Alcatraz Island is now a home to many animals and shrubs and plants.
• Animals: California slender salamanders are found in Cisterns, demolished guard housing. The manufacturing building and a plaza on the cliff’s top is home to nesting and roosting birds. The powerhouse area is home to deer mice. Western cliffs and cliff tops provide nesting and resting places for seabirds, such as pigeons, cormorants, Heermann’s gulls and seagulls to the west. Seals can be seen occasionally on a small beach at the base. The parade grounds become a habitat and a breeding ground for night herons with black crowns, seagulls of the west, thin salamanders and deer mice.
• Plants and Flowers: Creeping wild rye can be founded on powerhouse area. A trail named as The Agave Path for its dense growth of agave which is located atop a shoreline on the south side. The gardens planted by the families of the original Army post, and later by the families of the prison guards were neglected after the prison closed in 1963. After 40 years, a paid staff member and many volunteers are restoring funding from Garden Conservancy and Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. The untended gardens had become very large and had become a nesting habitat and sanctuary for numerous birds. Now, many of the gardens are being restored to their original state and areas of bird habitat are being preserved and protected.
By eliminating overgrowth, workers discovered that many of the original plants were growing where they had been planted, some more than 100 years ago. Many hybrids of relics of roses have been discovered and propagated, including a rose of Wales (Bardou Job) that was believed to be extinct. Many species of roses, succulents and geraniums grow among apple and fig trees, pea banks, cut flower gardens, and sections of native grasses with blackberry and honeysuckle undergrowth.