Alcatraz unveils preserved slice of history

The National Park Service unveiled newly preserved historical features on Alcatraz Island Wednesday following a $3 million stabilization project.

After a year of work stabilizing the guardhouse complex, which includes the original sallyport, or entranceway, to the island that was built in 1857, “historic features that have been hidden for decades” were revealed, according to a statement released by the NPS.

The building’s original entrance sign, “Alcatraces 1857,” which dates back to the island’s use as a military reservation until 1934, has not been visible for decades. It has been fully exposed and can now be seen by all visitors passing through the gate.

From 1934 to 1963, the island served as a federal prison with notable inmates such as Al Capone.

The $3 million project has also stabilized, re-roofed, and re-painted the guardhouse, library and schoolhouse structures, according to the NPS.

In the east guardroom, the cannon port embrasure has also been restored to its original condition, mirroring the one on the building’s west side.

Stabilization work has also been completed on the citadel and additional construction projects at Alcatraz Island are in the planning process.