To my memory, Alcatraz Island in San Francisco is only the second historic prison that I have visited in my travels. The other being old Melbourne Gaol. It got me thinking though that there are not all that many around that are all that accessible to visit or that seem to be made available to visit as a second life.
Alcatraz Island does seem to have very much two sides to it which I think you can see in this photo here. On one hand, there is some beauty in the natural as aspects, and yet there is the very real sign of a bygone era in the old and dilapidated buildings.