There’s a 1:87 scale model of Alcatraz Island at Pier 33. (You can get a good overview of the model in this video made by Family Travel Fun.) The guard tower in the dock area was especially well done.
Poking around the island and its buildings is a compelling and visceral history lesson. This trip I became interested in the textures of decay. Here is a light on the Electrical Repair Shop, just past the Guardhouse and Sally Port.
An interior light switch in the New Industries Building.
A map of peeling paint on a cement support column.
Overseen by pipes, velveted in rust.
There was a new art installation in the New Industries Building, but I found this partial view more interesting.
A busted sink and commode. And pipes.
Closer to the sink. It looks friendly.
Looking north towards Marin, the remains of the Post Exchange, built in 1910, as a general store for soldiers and their families. (When Alcatraz became a federal prison in 1934, the PX was converted into a recreation hall and officer’s club, with a dance floor, gymnasium, two-lane bowling alley and soda fountain.) It was destroyed in a fire in 1970.
The quotation on May’s welcome page, “New ideas need old buildings” is from Jane Jacobs.