Photo Journal: Alcatraz, San Francisco


Alcatraz Island. The Rock. The last stop. I’ve always had a strange, macabre fascination for places like this. Places of confessions and suffering, of crime and secrecy, of war and death. It was only natural that Alcatraz captured my imagination and was one of the biggest reasons behind our visit to San Francisco a few weeks ago.

I thought today would be an appropriate day to share the first of three posts about the island; on this day 52 years ago, The Rock saw it’s last prisoners depart and finally closed down, due to extremely high operational costs associated with running the rapidly deteriorating facilities on the island.

The first group of photos I wanted to share were of the heart achingly beautiful view from the island across the bay. The view that was enjoyed by the families of the guards staffing the island. The view that tortured the men imprisoned on the island. The view that drove 36 attempted escapes (of which 23 were re-captured, 6 were shot dead, 2 drowned and 5 were missing, never to be seen again). That view in the winter morning sun, which I won’t ever likely forget…