Alcatraz Island at Golden Gate National Recreation Area
Alcatraz Island is a 22.5 acre historic designed landscape in San Francisco Bay, California. Approximately 1,700 feet long and 580 feet wide, Alcatraz Island occupies a commanding position nearly four miles directly east of the entrance to the bay. Fog and high winds frequently pour in from the Pacific Ocean through the Golden Gate to buffet the island. Precipitous cliffs ring the island, rising as high as 50 feet from the water. The bare rock of the island is today covered by a thin layer of imported soil and vegetation and dotted with structures associated with the island’s military and prison history. While the island is dominated by the large buildings associated with the military and federal prisons, including the imposing cell house perched on the top terrace, additional historic features include many smaller buildings and structures, garden areas, roads, sidewalks, and topographic features.
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