Alcatraz Reaches Major Milestone

SAN FRANCISCO — A major anniversary is approaching for the former infamous Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary.

March 21, 2013 marks 50 years since the prison’s closure. Almost 10 years later, the National Park Service (NPS) became the stewards of the island and are holding a special event to mark the prison’s anniversary.

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Renovation Under Way at Alcatraz Island

SAN FRANCISCO — Alcatraz Island has not held inmates since 1963, but construction next to the famous prison is under way.

A 72-year-old water tower, the most visible feature on Alcatraz Island from San Francisco, is wrapped in white tarp and scaffolding as it undergoes more than $1 million in repairs.

The island has welcomed visitors to San Francisco’s bay since it became a national recreation area in 1972.

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PODCAST: The Gardens of Alcatraz

Alcatraz Island, a historic prison and tourist destination, has a secret past that dates back more than a hundred years.  On today’s program we hear from Shelagh Fritz, project manager for the Gardens of Alcatraz — a joint project of the Garden Conservancy, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, and the National Park Service.  The gardens were once tended to by convicts such as Elliott Michener, whose conviction for counterfeiting and ultimate escape from Leavenworth Pentitentiary landed him on the rock in 1941. 

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Alcatraz Goes Solar With 1,360 Panels

SAN FRANCISCO — The former federal penitentiary on Alcatraz Island will once again play a role in removing harmful elements from the community after plans emerged for a solar energy system that will reduce carbon emissions from “the Rock.”
Approximately 1,360 solar panels are being installed on the main prison building and ancillary structures to replace two aging diesel generators that power facility operations on the island, according to the National Park Service, which operates Alcatraz.

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