Taking the Alcatraz San Francisco tour won’t really land you in prison. You will, however, enter the mammoth building through its “impressive gate system.” The feeling of confinement is almost overwhelming. “Escape from Alcatraz” was said to be impossible. Even so, its history is rife with fabulous escape attempts by daring prisoners. Average success was something like 0 for 14 attempts. Numbers 4-14 had to have been a little slow in the brains department. It’s role as a prison began somewhere in the 1850’s, as a military prison. Stands to reason that as a military installation it must have been designed as a secure building.
It actually began as a military fortress, protecting the Bay to the tune of 100 cannon bristling on sea sides. Can you remember San Francisco ever being threatened by a 19th century invasion from the sea?