Photographer's Note

Alcatraz is a 7.6 ha island in the San Francisco Bay. The name derives from Arabic for "sea eagle" and was selected by the Spaniard Juan Manuel de Ayala, who is credited with "discovering" the island in 1775.

For much of its history, Alcatraz has been the site of a prison. The cold bay waters and strong currents make escape a difficult proposition.

The most infamous period of Alcatraz was 1934-1963, when a federal prison was operated on the island. Among the most notorious prisoners were Al Capone, "Machine Gun" Kelly, and Robert Franklin Stroud (the Birdman of Alcatraz).

The prison was closed in 1963, because it was too expensive to operate.

For a period of 19 months beginning in November 1969, a group of Native Americans occupied the island as part of a protest against US policies.

Today, the island is operated by the US National Park Service. It is open for tours by visitors and is accessed via ferry departing from Pier 33 on the north bay shore of San Francisco.

This shot was taken from the pier at the San Francisco Maritime National Historic Park, which is just east of Fort Mason.

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Additional Photos by William Nazaroff (BilboCA) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 115 W: 115 N: 136] (734)
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