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National Register of Historic Places in San Francisco

National Register #76000209: Alcatraz 4 February 2007
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National Register #76000209
AKA La Isla de los Alcatraces
AKA Fort Alcatraz
AKA Post at Alcatraz
AKA Pacific Branch, U.S. Military Prison
AKA U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, Alcatraz Island
AKA Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary
AKA Alcatraz Island
San Francisco Bay
Built 1853, 1857, 1908-1911

Alcatraz is a large rock in San Francisco Bay, originally barren and covered with white pelican droppings. It is about a half mile long, 525 feet wide and 140 feet high.

After being acquired by the United States in 1848, it was turned into a fortress beginning in 1853. Throughout the 19th Century its buildings were mostly of masonry and brick (the fortifications, citadel, sally port, etc.) or wood frame (living quarters, warehouses, and other support structures).

As the island's importance as a prison eclipsed its importance as a fortification, a complex of newer prison and support buildings was erected during the early part of the 20th Century. During this time the old fortifications and their support buildings were obliterated, partially obliterated, or altered, and replaced with buildings of steel-reinforced concrete.


Contributing Buildings Sequenced By Address
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Name Year Address Remarks
Fort Alcatraz
Guardhouse/First Prison Complex1857
North Battery and Additions1910
South Battery
Casemate Barracks1865
Parade Ground1870
Three-Story Barracks1905
Guard Towers
Officers' Quarters Ruins1940
Aids to Navigation1909
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