Alcatraz Island Light

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Alcatraz Island Light in 2001 - 37th trip
Alcatraz Island Light in 2001 - 37th trip

San Francisco, California

Built: 1909

Automated: 1963

This 84 foot tall reinforced concrete tower was the second lighthouse on Alcatraz Island. The first was built in 1854 (a 28 by 30 foot Cape Cod style structure) and was the first light lit on the Pacific coast. In 1909, expansion of the military prison overshadowed the original lighthouse, and this current tower with connected keepers' quarters was built. The focal plane of the light is 214 feet above sea level. It was one of the first to be automated by the Coast Guard in 1963. The keepers' quarters at the base of the tower was destroyed by fire in 1970. The island is now part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area.

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Photographs by Donald W. Carter
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This article was last modified on 6/4/2009.

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