Transforming Alcatraz into an Art Exhibit
Back in 2008, there was a ballot initiative aimed to transform Alcatraz Island into a “Global Peace and Creative Art Center.” The proposal is a lush green island, in the path of a sunbeam and complete with a geodesic dome and a pyramid. Its opponents called the proposition ridiculous and cited its potential burden on local taxpayers.
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
“Do you want an old prison sitting out there in one of the most beautiful spots in the world? Or do you want something really inspiring?,” said DaVid, 60, who identifies himself as hermetic scientist and a modern day alchemist.
The proposal failed having received a little more than 54,000 votes, or 28 percent.
Recently, the proposal to acquire Alcatraz for the expressed purpose of transforming the island into a global peace creative arts center was re-drafted and is positioning to qualify for this November’s election.
If adopted, the measure would make it the official, but non-binding, policy of the City and County of San Francisco to support and facilitate the acquisition.
Alcatraz is a tourist favorite netting over a million paying visitors a year. It sits in a picturesque spot in San Francisco Bay opposite the Golden Gate Bridge, in the National Park system since 1972.
Photo of Alcatraz courtesy of Cameron Davidson/Aerial Stock
The island was a federal penitentiary from 1936 to 1963 – home to some of the nation’s most scurrilous prisoners, including Al Capone – a notorious American gangster whose multi-million dollar Chicago operation in bootlegging, prostitution and gambling dominated the organized crime scene for nearly a decade.
Photo of Al Capone/Daily Express
Photo courtesy of Alcatraz
For history lovers, the thought of overhauling Alcatraz is a shame. It is also a Federal-owned land and would need to be declared as “surplus property” by the federal government before it can be sold to the City of San Francisco.
In addition, prior to disposing of the structures on the property, federal law suggests that the government would first need to evaluate using Alcatraz to house the homeless. For more on this, check out housethehomeless.org.
The Global Peace and Creative Art Center ballot measure managed to receive over 54,000 votes in favor of the initiative back in 2008, roughly 28 percent of the vote.