San Jose Downtown

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Location_map_San_Jose

Downtown San Jose

Downtown San Jose is the central business district of San Jose, California, United States. The area is generally located north of Interstate 280 and east of Guadalupe Parkway, which roughly parallels the Guadalupe River. The region is bound to the north by U.S. Route 101 and to the east by Coyote Creek.

The ZIP code for the business district of downtown San Jose is 95113, and the residential area is covered by ZIP codes 95110, 95112 and 95113.

Contents
1 History
2 Business District
3 Residential district
4 Education

History


The town was first settled in 1777. The area that now makes up downtown was first settled twenty years later, when the town of San Jose moved somewhat inland from its original location on the banks of the Guadalupe River. In 1850, San Jose incorporated to become California’s first city and the location of California’s first state capitol. The downtown area was typical of a small, agriculture-based city of under 100,000 residents until city manager A. P. Hamann spearheaded aggressive expansion during the 1950s and ’60s. As the city rapidly expanded into outlying areas, the downtown area entered a period of decline. In the 1980s, mayor Tom McEnery, whose family owned several buildings in downtown, initiated significant gentrification in the area. The San Jose Redevelopment Agency, the largest such group in the state, would eventually become a key player in revitalizing the downtown area and, to a lesser extent, surrounding neighborhoods. In some cases, historic downtown buildings were bulldozed in order to make room for new hotels, office space, condominiums, museums, theaters and parks; to widen or re-align streets, and to build parking lots and garages.

Business District


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The San Jose Downtown Association hosts its annual “Skating Under the Palms” event during the winter holiday season.

Downtown San Jose buildings are not allowed to exceed 27 stories in height (The 88 Tower is the tallest at 286 feet, one foot taller than City Hall), due to their proximity to the Mineta San Jose International Airport flight path. Despite the height restrictions, the area is home to many of the city’s landmarks, including the headquarters of Adobe Systems, BEA Systems, the San Jose Museum of Art, the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose, the Tech Museum of Innovation, the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles, the San Jose Repertory Theatre, the San Jose Stage Company, the historic De Anza Hotel, the Fairmont Hotel, the Cathedral Basilica of St. Joseph, the campus of San Jose State University and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Library. The SAP Center, just west of Guadalupe Parkway, is also normally considered to be part of the downtown community.

Downtown also is home to several important network service providers and Internet service providers, many of them located in Market Post Tower. Although the cost of office and technical space is relatively high downtown, this is offset by the low cost of peering and internetworking, an effect of proximity to other networking companies.

Many of the public areas of downtown San Jose are covered by a public, free, Wi-Fi network, including the areas surrounding Plaza de César Chávez and San Pedro Square. Downtown is also the hub of the VTA’s light rail system, and the home of the main campus of San Jose State University. Many of the 19th century buildings in central downtown appear on the National Register of Historic Places, in particular the area surrounding St. James Park, such as Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.

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A daytime panoramic view of downtown San Jose from the top of Marriott Hotel.

Residential District


The residential areas of Downtown San Jose are now both inside the downtown core and surrounding the core. Downtown residents are known for their civic engagement, as evidenced by more than two dozen active neighborhood associations in the area. Despite widespread destruction caused by the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, a number of neighborhoods still retain their original, pre-1906 housing stock. These neighborhoods include the South University, Naglee Park, Hensley Historic District, Reed Historic District and Vendome neighborhoods. Downtown San Jose’s early 20th century housing is diverse and includes many smaller Victorian homes along with a few fairly large gingerbread or Italianate-style Victorians, Craftsman, Mission and California Bungalow architecture in the neighborhoods surrounding the downtown core.

As part of its apparent effort to stimulate economic growth and increase tax revenue within the downtown community, the San Jose Redevelopment Agency began encouraging builders to construct high-rise residential towers, and the agency offered subsidies and lifted the requirement to provide affordable units that were characteristic of other redevelopment projects throughout the city. The agency’s master plan has incorporated high-rise condominiums since 1980. In 2008, the city’s first high-rise project began selling units. Construction or planning has begun on at least seven additional high-rise projects. The agency states the high-rises will contribute to the creation of a more vibrant and well-to-do downtown culture.

The downtown residential area primarily consisted of Caucasian residents through the mid-twentieth century. A notable exception was the Northside Neighborhood, where ethnic minority groups were invited to establish their homes and live their lives freely. With a vibrant African-American community and a Chinatown that grew into today’s Japantown, San Jose’s Northside welcomed everyone and helped to form the inclusive, diverse and vibrant downtown San Jose community of today.

Education


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Southeast entrance of the King Library

Downtown San Jose is home to the campus of San Jose State University. SJSU is the founding campus of the California State University system and the oldest public university on the west coast of the United States. SJSU enrolls approximately 31,000 students.

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Library, shared by the city of San Jose and San Jose State University, is located on the campus of San Jose State University in downtown San Jose. The King Library represents the first collaboration of its kind between a university and a major U.S. city, and has won numerous awards including the Library Journal’s prestigious 2004 Library of the Year award, the publication’s highest honor. The library first opened its doors in 2003.

Silicon Valley

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Silicon Valley, as seen from over north San Jose, facing southward towards Downtown San Jose, in June 2014.

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Bay Area within California

Silicon Valley

Silicon Valley is a nickname for the southern portion of the Bay Area in the northern part of the U.S. state of California. The “valley” in its name refers to the Santa Clara Valley in Santa Clara County, which includes the city of San Jose and surrounding cities and towns, where the region has been traditionally centered. The region has expanded to include the southern half of the Peninsula in San Mateo County, and southern portions of the East Bay in Alameda County.

The word “silicon” originally referred to the large number of silicon chip innovators and manufacturers in the region, but the area is now the home to many of the world’s largest high-tech corporations, including the headquarters of 39 businesses in the Fortune 1000, and thousands of startup companies. Silicon Valley also accounts for one-third of all of the venture capital investment in the United States, which has helped it to become a leading hub and startup ecosystem for high-tech innovation and scientific development. It was in the Valley that the silicon-based integrated circuit, the microprocessor, and the microcomputer, among other key technologies, were developed. As of 2013, the region employed about a quarter of a million information technology workers.

As more high-tech companies were established across San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley, and then north towards the Bay Area’s two other major cities, San Francisco and Oakland, the “Silicon Valley” has come to have two definitions: a geographic one, referring to Santa Clara County, and a metonymical one, referring to all high-tech businesses in the Bay Area or even in the United States. The term is now generally used as a synecdoche for the American high-technology economic sector. The name also became a global synonym for leading high-tech research and enterprises, and thus inspired similar named locations, as well as research parks and technology centers with a comparable structure all around the world.

Contents
1 Origin of the term
2 History (before 1970s)
2.1 Roots in telegraph, radio, commercial and military technology
2.2 Ham radio
2.3 Welfare capitalism
2.4 U.S. response to Sputnik
2.5 Stanford University
2.6 Stanford Industrial Park
2.7 The silicon transistor
2.8 Computer networking
2.9 Immigration reform
3 History (1971 and later)
3.1 Chips
3.2 Homebrew Computer Club
3.3 Venture capital firms
3.4 Media
3.5 Software
3.6 The Internet
3.7 Internet bubble
3.8 Early 21st century
4 Economy
4.1 Overview
4.2 Notable companies
4.3 Notable government facilities
5 Demographics
5.1 Diversity
5.2 Schools
6 Municipalities
7 Universities, colleges, and trade schools
8 Art galleries and museums
9 Media outlets

Origin of the Term


Perhaps the strongest thread that runs through the Valley’s past and present is the drive to “play” with novel technology, which, when bolstered by an advanced engineering degree and channeled by astute management, has done much to create the industrial powerhouse we see in the Valley today.

— Timothy J. Sturgeon

The first published use of Silicon Valley is credited to Don Hoefler, a friend of local entrepreneur Ralph Vaerst’s who suggested the phrase to him. Hoefler used the phrase as the title of a series of articles in the weekly trade newspaper Electronic News. The series, titled “Silicon Valley in the USA”, began in the paper’s January 11, 1971, issue. The term gained widespread use in the early 1980s, at the time of the introduction of the IBM PC and numerous related hardware and software products to the consumer market. The silicon part of the name refers to the high concentration of companies involved in the making of semiconductors (silicon is used to create most semiconductors commercially) and computer industries that were concentrated in the area. These firms slowly replaced the orchards and the fruits which gave the area its initial nickname—the “Valley of Heart’s Delight”.

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Looking west over northern San Jose (downtown is at far left) and other parts of Silicon Valley

History (before 1970s)


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The “Birthplace of the Silicon Valley” garage in Palo Alto, where William Hewlett and David Packard started developing their audio oscillator in 1938 (photographed 2016)

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A sign describing the “Birthplace of Silicon Valley” garage, 2016

Silicon Valley was born through several contributing factors intersecting, including a skilled STEM research base housed in area universities, plentiful venture capital, and steady U.S. Department of Defense spending. Stanford University leadership was especially important in the valley’s early development. Together these elements formed the basis of its growth and success.

Roots in Telegraph, Radio, Commercial and Military Technology

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Downtown San Jose as seen with lit palm trees

The first ship-to-shore wireless telegraph message to be received in the US was from the San Francisco lightship outside the Golden Gate, signaling the return of the American fleet from the Philippines after their victory in the Spanish–American War.[when?] The ship had been outfitted with a wireless telegraph transmitter by a local newspaper, so that they could prepare a celebration on the return of the American sailors. Local historian Clyde Arbuckle states in Clyde Arbuckle’s History of San Jose that “California first heard the click of a telegraph key on September 11, 1853. It marked completion of an enterprise begun by a couple of San Francisco Merchants’ Exchange members named George Sweeney and Theodore E. Baugh…” He says, “In 1849, the gentleman established a wigwag telegraph station a top a high hill overlooking Portsmouth Squares for signaling arriving ships… The operator at the first station caught these signals by telescope and relayed them to the Merchant’s Exchange for the waiting business community.” Arbuckle points to the historic significance the Merchants Exchange Building (San Francisco) and Telegraph Hill, San Francisco when he goes on to say “The first station gave the name Telegraph to the hill on which it was located. It was known as the Inner Station; the second, as the Outer Station. Both used their primitive mode of communication until Messrs. Sweeney and Baugh connected the Outer Station directly with the Merchants’s Exchange by electric telegraph Wire.”

According to Arbuckle (p. 380–381) Sweeney and Baugh’s line was strictly an intra-city, San Francisco-based service; that is until California State Telegraph Company enfranchised on May 3, 1852; whereas, O.E. Allen and C. Burnham led the way to “build a line from San Francisco to Marysville via San Jose, Stockton, and Sacramento.” Delays to construction occurred until September 1853; but, “…San Jose became the first station on the line when the wire arrived here on October 15. The line was completed when [James] Gamble’s northbound crew met a similar crew working southward from Marysville on October 24.”

The Bay Area had long been a major site of United States Navy research and technology. In 1909, Charles Herrold started the first radio station in the United States with regularly scheduled programming in San Jose. Later that year, Stanford University graduate Cyril Elwell purchased the U.S. patents for Poulsen arc radio transmission technology and founded the Federal Telegraph Corporation (FTC) in Palo Alto. Over the next decade, the FTC created the world’s first global radio communication system, and signed a contract with the Navy in 1912.

In 1933, Air Base Sunnyvale, California, was commissioned by the United States Government for use as a Naval Air Station (NAS) to house the airship USS Macon in Hangar One. The station was renamed NAS Moffett Field, and between 1933 and 1947, U.S. Navy blimps were based there. A number of technology firms had set up shop in the area around Moffett Field to serve the Navy. When the Navy gave up its airship ambitions and moved most of its west coast operations to San Diego, the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA, forerunner of NASA) took over portions of Moffett Field for aeronautics research. Many of the original companies stayed, while new ones moved in. The immediate area was soon filled with aerospace firms, such as Lockheed.

Ham Radio

The Bay Area was an early center of ham radio with about 10% of the operators in the United States. William Eitel, Jack McCullough, and Charles Litton, who together pioneered vacuum tube manufacturing in the Bay Area, were hobbyists with training in technology gained locally who participated in development of shortwave radio by the ham radio hobby. High frequency, and especially, Very high frequency, VHF, transmission in the 10 meter band, required higher quality power tubes than were manufactured by the consortium of RCA, Western Electric, General Electric, Westinghouse which controlled vacuum tube manufacture. Litton, founder of Litton Industries, pioneered manufacturing techniques which resulted in award of wartime contracts to manufacture transmitting tubes for radar to Eitel-McCullough, a San Bruno firm, which manufactured power-grid tubes for radio amateurs and aircraft radio equipment.

Welfare Capitalism

A union organizing drive in 1939–40 at Eitel-McCullough by the strong Bay Area labor movement was fought off by adoption of a strategy of welfare capitalism which included pensions and other generous benefits, profit sharing, and such extras as a medical clinic and a cafeteria. An atmosphere of cooperation and collaboration was established. Successes have been few and far between for union organizing drives by UE and others in subsequent years.

U.S. Response to Sputnik

On October 4, 1957 the Soviet Union launched the first space satellite, Sputnik, which sparked fear that the Soviet Union was pulling ahead technologically. After President Eisenhower signed the National Aeronautics and Space Act (NASA), he turned to Fairchild Semiconductor, then the only company in the world that was able to make transistors. The president funded Fairchild’s project, which was highly successful.

Stanford University

Stanford University, its affiliates, and graduates have played a major role in the development of this area. Some examples include the work of Lee De Forest with his invention of a pioneering vacuum tube called the Audion and the oscilloscopes of Hewlett-Packard.

A very powerful sense of regional solidarity accompanied the rise of Silicon Valley. From the 1890s, Stanford University’s leaders saw its mission as service to the West and shaped the school accordingly. At the same time, the perceived exploitation of the West at the hands of eastern interests fueled booster-like attempts to build self-sufficient indigenous local industry. Thus, regionalism helped align Stanford’s interests with those of the area’s high-tech firms for the first fifty years of Silicon Valley’s development.

During the 1940s and 1950s, Frederick Terman, as Stanford’s dean of engineering and provost, encouraged faculty and graduates to start their own companies. He is credited with nurturing Hewlett-Packard, Varian Associates, and other high-tech firms, until what would become Silicon Valley grew up around the Stanford campus. Terman is often called “the father of Silicon Valley”.

In 1956, William Shockley, the creator of the transistor, moved from New Jersey to Mountain View, California, to start Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory to live closer to his ailing mother in Palo Alto. Shockley’s work served as the basis for many electronic developments for decades.

During 1955–85, solid state technology research and development at Stanford University followed three waves of industrial innovation made possible by support from private corporations, mainly Bell Telephone Laboratories, Shockley Semiconductor, Fairchild Semiconductor, and Xerox PARC. In 1969, the Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International), operated one of the four original nodes that comprised ARPANET, predecessor to the Internet.

Stanford Industrial Park

After World War II, universities were experiencing enormous demand due to returning students. To address the financial demands of Stanford’s growth requirements, and to provide local employment opportunities for graduating students, Frederick Terman proposed the leasing of Stanford’s lands for use as an office park, named the Stanford Industrial Park (later Stanford Research Park) in the year 1951. Leases were limited to high technology companies. Its first tenant was Varian Associates, founded by Stanford alumni in the 1930s to build military radar components. However, Terman also found venture capital for civilian technology start-ups. One of the major success stories was Hewlett-Packard. Founded in Packard’s garage by Stanford graduates William Hewlett and David Packard, Hewlett-Packard moved its offices into the Stanford Research Park shortly after 1953. In 1954, Stanford created the Honors Cooperative Program to allow full-time employees of the companies to pursue graduate degrees from the University on a part-time basis. The initial companies signed five-year agreements in which they would pay double the tuition for each student in order to cover the costs. Hewlett-Packard has become the largest personal computer manufacturer in the world, and transformed the home printing market when it released the first thermal drop-on-demand ink jet printer in 1984. Other early tenants included Eastman Kodak, General Electric, and Lockheed.

The Silicon Transistor

In 1953, William Shockley left Bell Labs in a disagreement over the handling of the invention of the transistor. After returning to California Institute of Technology for a short while, Shockley moved to Mountain View, California, in 1956, and founded Shockley Semiconductor Laboratory. Unlike many other researchers who used germanium as the semiconductor material, Shockley believed that silicon was the better material for making transistors. Shockley intended to replace the current transistor with a new three-element design (today known as the Shockley diode), but the design was considerably more difficult to build than the “simple” transistor. In 1957, Shockley decided to end research on the silicon transistor. As a result of Shockley’s abusive management style, eight engineers left the company to form Fairchild Semiconductor; Shockley referred to them as the “traitorous eight”. Two of the original employees of Fairchild Semiconductor, Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore, would go on to found Intel.

Computer Networking

April 23, 1963 J.C.R. Licklider, the first director of the Information Processing Techniques Office (IPTO) at The Pentagon’s ARPA issued an office memorandum rescheduling a meeting in Palo Alto addressed to “Members and Affiliates of the Intergalactic Computer Network”. regarding his vision of a computer network which he “imagined as an electronic commons open to all, ‘the main and essential medium of informational interaction for governments, institutions, corporations, and individuals.’” As head of IPTO from 1962 to 1964, “Licklider initiated three of the most important developments in information technology: the creation of computer science departments at several major universities, time-sharing, and networking.” By the late 1960s, his promotion of the concept had inspired a primitive version of his vision called ARPANET, which expanded into a network of networks in the 1970s that became the Internet.

Immigration Reform

The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 and other factors such as the mass exodus by Vietnamese boat people resulted in significant immigration, particularly by Asians, Latinos, and Portuguese, to Silicon Valley where they contributed to both the high-tech and production workforce. The Asian-American population in Santa Clara County rose from 43,000 in 1970 to 430,000 in 2000. During the same period the Latino population grew to 24% in the county and 30% in San Jose. The African-American population in the county remained steady but grew slightly to about 5%. Expansion of the H-1B visa in 1990 also played a role.

History (1971 and later)


Chips

In April 1974, Intel released the Intel 8080, a “computer on a chip”, “the first truly usable microprocessor”. A microprocessor incorporates the functions of a computer’s central processing unit (CPU) on a single integrated circuit (IC).

Homebrew Computer Club

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Invitation to first Homebrew Computer Club meeting (sent to Steve Dompier).

The Homebrew Computer Club was an informal group of electronic enthusiasts and technically minded hobbyists who gathered to trade parts, circuits, and information pertaining to DIY construction of computing devices. It was started by Gordon French and Fred Moore who met at the Community Computer Center in Menlo Park. They both were interested in maintaining a regular, open forum for people to get together to work on making computers more accessible to everyone.

The first meeting was held as of March 1975 at French’s garage in Menlo Park, San Mateo County, California; which was on occasion of the arrival of the MITS Altair microcomputer, the first unit sent to the area for review by People’s Computer Company. Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs credit that first meeting with inspiring them to design the original Apple I and (successor) Apple II computers. As a result, the first preview of the Apple I was given at the Homebrew Computer Club. Subsequent meetings were held at an auditorium at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center.

Venture Capital Firms

By the early 1970s, there were many semiconductor companies in the area, computer firms using their devices, and programming and service companies serving both. Industrial space was plentiful and housing was still inexpensive. The growth was fueled by the emergence of the venture capital industry on Sand Hill Road, beginning with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and Sequoia Capital in 1972; the availability of venture capital exploded after the successful $1.3 billion IPO of Apple Computer in December 1980.

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Media

In 1980, Intelligent Machines Journal -a hobbyist journal- changed its name to InfoWorld, and, with offices in Palo Alto, began covering the explosive emergence of the microcomputer industry in the valley.

Software

Although semiconductors are still a major component of the area’s economy, Silicon Valley has been most famous in recent years for innovations in software and Internet services. Silicon Valley has significantly influenced computer operating systems, software, and user interfaces.

Using money from NASA, the US Air Force, and ARPA, Doug Engelbart invented the mouse and hypertext-based collaboration tools in the mid-1960s and 1970s while at Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International), first publicly demonstrated in 1968 in what is now known as The Mother of All Demos. Engelbart’s Augmentation Research Center at SRI was also involved in launching the ARPANET (precursor to the Internet) and starting the Network Information Center (now InterNIC). Xerox hired some of Engelbart’s best researchers beginning in the early 1970s. In turn, in the 1970s and 1980s, Xerox’s Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) played a pivotal role in object-oriented programming, graphical user interfaces (GUIs), Ethernet, PostScript, and laser printers.

While Xerox marketed equipment using its technologies, for the most part its technologies flourished elsewhere. The diaspora of Xerox inventions led directly to 3Com and Adobe Systems, and indirectly to Cisco, Apple Computer, and Microsoft. Apple’s Macintosh GUI was largely a result of Steve Jobs’ visit to PARC and the subsequent hiring of key personnel. Cisco’s impetus stemmed from the need to route a variety of protocols over Stanford’s campus Ethernet.

The Internet

Commercial use of the Internet became practical and grew slowly throughout the early 1990s.

In 1995, commercial use of the Internet grew substantially and the initial wave of internet startups, Amazon.com, eBay, and the predecessor to Craigslist began operations.

Internet Bubble

Silicon Valley is generally considered to have been the center of the dot-com bubble, which started in the mid-1990s and collapsed after the NASDAQ stock market began to decline dramatically in April 2000. During the bubble era, real estate prices reached unprecedented levels. For a brief time, Sand Hill Road was home to the most expensive commercial real estate in the world, and the booming economy resulted in severe traffic congestion.

Early 21st Century

After the dot-com crash, Silicon Valley continues to maintain its status as one of the top research and development centers in the world. A 2006 The Wall Street Journal story found that 12 of the 20 most inventive towns in America were in California, and 10 of those were in Silicon Valley. San Jose led the list with 3,867 utility patents filed in 2005, and number two was Sunnyvale, at 1,881 utility patents. Silicon Valley is also home to a significant number of “Unicorn” ventures, referring to startup companies whose valuation has exceeded $1 billion dollars.

Economy


Overview

Silicon Valley has a social and business ethos that supports innovation and entrepreneurship. Attempts to create “Silicon Valleys” in environments where disruptive innovation does not go over well have a poor track record.

According to a 2008 study by AeA in 2006, Silicon Valley was the third largest high-tech center (cybercity) in the United States, behind the New York metropolitan area and Washington metropolitan area, with 225,300 high-tech jobs. The Bay Area as a whole however, of which Silicon Valley is a part, would rank first with 387,000 high-tech jobs. Silicon Valley has the highest concentration of high-tech workers of any metropolitan area, with 285.9 out of every 1,000 private-sector workers. Silicon Valley has the highest average high-tech salary at $144,800. Largely a result of the high technology sector, the San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA Metropolitan Statistical Area has the most millionaires and the most billionaires in the United States per capita.

The region is the biggest high-tech manufacturing center in the United States. The unemployment rate of the region was 9.4% in January 2009, up from 7.8% in the previous month. Silicon Valley received 41% of all U.S. venture investment in 2011, and 46% in 2012. More traditional industries also recognize the potential of high-tech development, and several car manufacturers have opened offices in Silicon Valley to capitalize on its entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Manufacture of transistors is, or was, the core industry in Silicon Valley. The production workforce was for the most part composed of Asian and Latina immigrants who were paid low wages and worked in hazardous conditions due to the chemicals used in the manufacture of integrated circuits. Technical, engineering, design, and administrative staffs were in large part well compensated.

Many more jobs (400,000 during the period 2010 to 2015) are created in Silicon Valley than housing built (60,000 units during the period 2010 to 2015). Housing prices are extremely high, far out of the range of production workers. As of 2016 a two-bedroom apartment rented for about $2,500 while the median home price was about $1 million. The Financial Post called Silicon Valley the most expensive U.S. housing region. Homelessness is a problem with housing beyond the reach of middle-income residents; there is little shelter space other than in San Jose which, as of 2015, was making an effort to develop shelters by renovating old hotels.

Notable Companies

Thousands of high technology companies are headquartered in Silicon Valley. Among those, the following 39 are in the Fortune 1000:

  • Adobe Systems
  • Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
  • Apple Inc.
  • Cisco Systems
  • eBay
  • Intel
  • Intuit
  • Nvidia
  • Oracle
  • Sun Microsystems
  • Yahoo!
  • Adobe Systems
  • Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)
  • Agilent Technologies
  • Alphabet Inc.
  • Apple Inc.
  • Applied Materials
  • Brocade Communications Systems
  • Cisco Systems
  • eBay
  • Electronic Arts
  • Facebook
  • Google
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • HP Inc.
  • Intel
  • Intuit
  • Juniper Networks
  • KLA Tencor
  • Lam Research
  • LSI Logic
  • Marvell Semiconductors
  • Maxim Integrated Products
  • National Semiconductor
  • NetApp
  • Netflix
  • Nvidia
  • Oracle Corporation
  • Riverbed Technology
  • Salesforce.com
  • SanDisk
  • Sanmina-SCI
  • Symantec
  • Tesla Motors
  • Visa Inc.VMware
  • Western Digital Corporation
  • Xilinx
  • Yahoo!

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Adobe Systems

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)

Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)

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Apple Inc

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Cisco Systems

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eBay

Intel

Intel

Intuit

Intuit

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Nvidia

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Oracle

Sun Microsystems

Sun Microsystems

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Yahoo!

Additional notable companies headquartered (or with a significant presence) in Silicon Valley include (some defunct or subsumed):

  • 3Com (acquired by Hewlett-Packard)
  • 8×8
  • Actel
  • Actuate Corporation
  • Adaptec
  • Aeria Games and Entertainment
  • Akamai Technologies (HQ in Cambridge, Massachusetts)
  • Altera
  • Amazon.com’s A9.com
  • Amazon.com’s Lab126.com
  • Amdahl
  • Anritsu
  • AstraQom
  • Asus (headquartered in Taipei, Taiwan)
  • Atari
  • Atmel
  • Broadcom (headquartered in Irvine, California)
  • BEA Systems (acquired by Oracle Corporation)
  • Cadence Design Systems
  • Cypress Semiconductor
  • Dell (headquartered in Round Rock, Texas)
  • EMC Corporation (headquartered in Hopkinton, Massachusetts)
  • Extreme Networks
  • E*TRADE (headquartered in New York, NY)
  • Fairchild Semiconductor
  • Flex (formally Flextronics)
  • Foundry Networks
  • Fujitsu (headquartered in Tokyo, Japan)
  • GoPro
  • Groupon (headquartered in Chicago, IL)
  • Harmonic, Inc.
  • HCL Technologies (headquartered in Noida, India)
  • Hitachi Data Systems
  • Hitachi Global Storage Technologies
  • IBM Almaden Research Center (headquartered in Armonk, New York)
  • IDEO
  • Infosys (headquartered in Bangalore, India)
  • Informatica
  • Intuitive Surgical
  • LinkedIn (acquired by Microsoft)
  • Logitech
  • Lucasfilm
  • Maxtor (acquired by Seagate)
  • McAfee (acquired by Intel)
  • Memorex (acquired by Imation and moved to Cerritos, California)
  • MetricStream
  • Micron Technology (headquartered in Boise, Idaho)
  • Microsoft (headquartered in Redmond, Washington)
  • Mozilla Foundation
  • Move, Inc.
  • Nokia (headquartered in Espoo, Finland)
  • Nokia Solutions and Networks (headquartered in Espoo, Finland)
  • NXP Semiconductors
  • Nook (subsidiary of Barnes & Noble)
  • Olivetti (headquartered in Ivrea, Italy)
  • Opera Software (headquartered in Oslo, Norway)
  • Palm, Inc. (acquired by Hewlett-Packard)
  • Panasonic (headquartered in Osaka, Japan)
  • PARC
  • PayPal (it has been demerged from eBay)
  • Pixar
  • Playdom
  • PlayPhone
  • Qualcomm, Inc. (HQ in San Diego, CA)
  • Quanta Computer
  • Quantcast
  • Quora
  • Rambus
  • Roku, Inc.
  • RSA Security (acquired by EMC)
  • Samsung Electronics (headquartered in Suwon, South Korea)
  • Samsung Research America (headquartered in Suwon, South Korea)
  • SAP SE (headquartered in Walldorf, Germany)
  • Siemens (headquartered in Berlin and Munich, Germany)
  • SolarCity
  • Sony (headquartered in Tokyo, Japan)
  • Sony Ericsson
  • Sony Interactive Entertainment
  • Square, Inc.
  • SRI International
  • Sun Microsystems (acquired by Oracle Corporation)
  • SunPower
  • SurveyMonkey
  • Synopsys Inc.
  • Tata Consultancy Services (headquartered in Mumbai, India)
  • Tibco Software
  • TiVo
  • TSMC
  • Twitter
  • Uber (company)
  • VA Software (Slashdot)
  • Verifone
  • VeriSign
  • Veritas Software (split off from Symantec)
  • VMware
  • WebEx (acquired by Cisco Systems)
  • @WalmartLabs
  • YouTube (acquired by Google)
  • Yelp, Inc.
  • Zynga

Silicon Valley is also home to the high-tech superstore retail chain Fry’s Electronics.

Notable Government Facilities

  • Moffett Federal Airfield
  • NASA Ames Research Center (Located inside Moffett)
  • Onizuka Air Force Station

Demographics


Depending on what geographic regions are included in the meaning of the term, the population of Silicon Valley is between 3.5 and 4 million. A 1999 study by AnnaLee Saxenian for the Public Policy Institute of California reported that a third of Silicon Valley scientists and engineers were immigrants and that nearly a quarter of Silicon Valley’s high-technology firms since 1980 were run by Chinese (17 percent) or Indian CEOs (7 percent). There is a stratum of well-compensated technical employees and managers, including 10s of thousands of “single-digit millionaires.” This income and range of assets will support a middle-class lifestyle in Silicon Valley.

Diversity

In November 2006, the University of California, Davis released a report analyzing business leadership by women within the state. The report showed that although 103 of the 400 largest public companies headquartered in California were located in Santa Clara County (the most of all counties), only 8.8% of Silicon Valley companies had women CEOs. This was the lowest percentage in the state. (San Francisco County had 19.2% and Marin County had 18.5%.)

Silicon Valley tech leadership positions are occupied almost exclusively by men. This is also represented in the number of new companies founded by women as well as the number of women-lead startups that receive venture capital funding. Wadhwa said he believes that a contributing factor is a lack of parental encouragement to study science and engineering. He also cited a lack of women role models and noted that most famous tech leaders—like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg—are men.

In 2014, tech companies Google, Yahoo!, Facebook, Apple, and others, released corporate transparency reports that offered detailed employee breakdowns. In May, Google said 17% of its tech employees worldwide were women, and, in the U.S., 1% of its tech workers were black and 2% were Hispanic. June 2014 brought reports from Yahoo! and Facebook. Yahoo! said that 15% of its tech jobs were held by women, 2% of its tech employees were black and 4% Hispanic. Facebook reported that 15% of its tech workforce was female, and 3% was Hispanic and 1% was black. In August, Apple reported that 80% of its global tech staff was male and that, in the U.S., 54% of its tech jobs were staffed by Caucasians and 23% by Asians. Soon after, USA Today published an article about Silicon Valley’s lack of tech-industry diversity, pointing out that it is largely white or Asian, and male. “Blacks and Hispanics are largely absent,” it reported, “and women are underrepresented in Silicon Valley—from giant companies to start-ups to venture capital firms.” Civil rights activist Jesse Jackson said of improving diversity in the tech industry, “This is the next step in the civil rights movement” while T.J. Rodgers has argued against Jackson’s assertions.

As of October 2014, some high-profile Silicon Valley firms were working actively to prepare and recruit women. Bloomberg reported that Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft attended the 20th annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference to actively recruit and potentially hire female engineers and technology experts. The same month, the second annual Platform Summit was held to discuss increasing racial and gender diversity in tech. As of April 2015 experienced women were engaged in creation of venture capital firms which leveraged women’s perspectives in funding of startups.

After UC Davis published its Study of California Women Business Leaders in November 2006, some San Jose Mercury News readers dismissed the possibility that sexism contributed in making Silicon Valley’s leadership gender gap the highest in the state. A January 2015 issue of Newsweek magazine featured an article detailing reports of sexism and misogyny in Silicon Valley. The article’s author, Nina Burleigh, asked, “Where were all these offended people when women like Heidi Roizen published accounts of having a venture capitalist stick her hand in his pants under a table while a deal was being discussed?”

Silicon Valley firms’ board of directors are composed of 15.7% women compared with 20.9% in the S&P 100.

The 2012 lawsuit Pao v. Kleiner Perkins was filed in San Francisco County Superior Court by executive Ellen Pao for gender discrimination against her employer, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The case went to trial in February 2015. On March 27, 2015 the jury found in favor of Kleiner Perkins on all counts. Nevertheless, the case, which had wide press coverage, resulted in major advances in consciousness of gender discrimination on the part of venture capital and technology firms and their women employees. Two other cases have been filed against Facebook and Twitter.

Schools

Funding for public schools in upscale Silicon Valley communities such as Woodside, California is often supplemented by grants from private foundations set up for that purpose and funded by local residents. Schools in less favorable demographics such as East Palo Alto, California must depend on state funding.

Municipalities


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Map visualization of traditional Silicon Valley in red, San Francisco in maroon/brown, Berkeley-Emeryville tech hub in peach. Tech companies by no means are relegated to these areas, and are found all over the bay.

The following Santa Clara County cities are actually located in the Santa Clara Valley and based on that status are traditionally considered to be in Silicon Valley (in alphabetical order):

  • Campbell
  • Cupertino
  • Los Altos
  • Los Altos Hills
  • Los Gatos
  • Milpitas
  • Monte Sereno
  • Morgan Hill
  • Mountain View
  • Palo Alto
  • San Jose
  • Santa Clara
  • Saratoga
  • Sunnyvale

In 2015, MIT researchers developed a novel method for measuring which towns are home to startups with higher growth potential. This defines Silicon Valley to center on the municipalities of Menlo Park, Mountain View, Palo Alto, and Sunnyvale.

The following Bay Area cities are (or were) home to various high-tech companies (or related firms like venture capital firms) and have thereby become associated with Silicon Valley:

San Mateo County

  • Belmont
  • Burlingame
  • East Palo Alto
  • Foster City
  • Menlo Park
  • Millbrae
  • Redwood City
  • San Bruno
  • San Carlos
  • San Mateo
  • South San Francisco

Alameda County

  • Emeryville
  • Fremont
  • Newark
  • Oakland
  • Union City

Santa Cruz County

  • Santa Cruz
  • Scotts Valley
  • San Francisco County
    San Francisco

Contra Costa County

  • San Ramon

Universities, colleges, and trade schools

  • The Art Institute of California – Sunnyvale
  • California College of the Arts
  • Carnegie Mellon University (Silicon Valley campus)
  • California State University, East Bay, Hayward
  • Cañada College
  • Chabot College
  • Cogswell Polytechnical College
  • College of San Mateo
  • De Anza College
  • DeVry University
  • Draper University
  • Evergreen Valley College
  • Foothill College
  • Gavilan College
  • Golden Gate University (Silicon Valley Campus)
  • Hult International Business School
  • International Culinary Center
  • International Technological University
  • John F. Kennedy University (Campbell Campus)
  • Lincoln Law School of San Jose
  • Menlo College
  • Mills College
  • Minerva Schools at KGI
  • Mission College
  • National University San Jose Campus
  • Northwestern Polytechnic University (Fremont)
  • Notre Dame de Namur University
  • Ohlone College
  • Peralta Colleges
  • Saint Mary’s College of California
  • San Jose City College
  • San José State University
  • San Francisco State University
  • Santa Clara University
  • Silicon Valley University
  • Singularity University
  • Skyline College
  • Stanford University
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • University of California, Santa Cruz, Silicon Valley Campus
  • University of California, San Francisco
  • University of San Francisco South Bay Campus
  • West Valley College

Art Galleries and Museums


Silicon Valley’s first internationally known art gallery, Pace Art and Technology Gallery in Menlo Park, opened on February 6, 2016.

In 1928, the Allied Arts Guild was formed in Menlo Park and is a complex of artist studios, shops, restaurant, and gardens.

Some museums in Silicon Valley include;

  • Burlingame Museum of PEZ Memorabilia,
  • Computer History Museum,
  • Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose,
  • CuriOdyssey,
  • De Saisset Museum at Santa Clara University,
  • Filoli Estate,
  • Forbes Mill,
  • Hiller Aviation Museum,
  • the HP Garage,
  • the Intel Museum,
  • Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University,
  • Japanese American Museum of San Jose,
  • Los Altos History Museum,
  • Moffett Field Historical Society Museum,
  • Museum of American Heritage,
  • Palo Alto Art Center,
  • Palo Alto Junior Museum and Zoo,
  • Portuguese Historical Museum,
  • Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum,
  • San Mateo County History Museum,
  • San Jose Museum of Art,
  • San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles
  • Sunnyvale Heritage Park Museum,
  • The Tech Museum of Innovation,
  • Viet Museum,
  • Winchester Mystery House,

Media Outlets


Local and national media cover Silicon Valley and its companies. CNN, The Wall Street Journal, and Bloomberg News operate Silicon Valley bureaus out of Palo Alto. Public broadcaster KQED (TV) and KQED-FM, as well as the Bay Area’s local ABC station KGO-TV, operate bureaus in San Jose. KNTV, NBC’s local Bay Area affiliate “NBC Bay Area”, is located in San Jose. Produced from this location is the nationally distributed TV Show “Tech Now” as well as the CNBC Silicon Valley bureau. San Jose-based media serving Silicon Valley include the San Jose Mercury News daily and the Metro Silicon Valley weekly. Specialty media include El Observador and the San Jose / Silicon Valley Business Journal. Most of the Bay Area’s other major TV stations, newspapers, and media operate in San Francisco or Oakland. Patch.com operates various web portals, providing local news, discussion and events for residents of Silicon Valley. Mountain View has a public nonprofit station, KMVT-15. KMVT-15’s shows include Silicon Valley Education News (EdNews)-Edward Tico Producer.

Alcatraz Island

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Alcatraz Island, San Francisco Bay, July 2, 2017

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Alcatraz Island

Alcatraz Island (/ˈælkəˌtræz/) is located in San Francisco Bay, 1.25 miles (2.01 km) offshore from San Francisco, California, United States. The small island was developed with facilities for a lighthouse, a military fortification, a military prison (1868), and a federal prison from 1934 until 1963. Beginning in November 1969, the island was occupied for more than 19 months by a group of Native Americans from San Francisco, who were part of a wave of Native activism across the nation, with public protests through the 1970s. In 1972, Alcatraz became part of a national recreation area and received designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1986.

Today, the island’s facilities are managed by the National Park Service as part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area; it is open to tours. Visitors can reach the island in a little under 15 minutes by ferry ride from Pier 33, located between the San Francisco Ferry Building and Fisherman’s Wharf, San Francisco. Hornblower Cruises and Events, operating under the name Alcatraz Cruises, is the official ferry provider to and from the island.

Alcatraz Island is home to the abandoned prison, the site of the oldest operating lighthouse on the West Coast of the United States, early military fortifications, and natural features such as rock pools and a seabird colony (mostly western gulls, cormorants, and egrets). According to a 1971 documentary on the history of Alcatraz, the island measures 1,675 feet (511 m) by 590 feet (180 m) and is 135 feet (41 m) at highest point during mean tide. However, the total area of the island is reported to be 22 acres (8.9 ha).

Landmarks on the island include the Main Cellhouse, Dining Hall, Library, Lighthouse, the ruins of the Warden’s House and Officers’ Club, Parade Grounds, Building 64, Water Tower, New Industries Building, Model Industries Building, and the Recreation Yard.

Contents
1 History
1.1 Military garrison
1.1.1 Military prison
1.2 Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary
2 Post-prison years
2.1 Native American occupation
3 Landmarks
4 Development
5 Art
6 Fauna and flora
6.1 Habitat
6.2 Flora
7 In popular culture
8 Gallery

History


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Alcatraz Island on a clear day

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Alcatraz Island, 1895.

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Alcatraz in the dawn mist, from the east. The “parade ground” is at left.

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Alcatraz Island and lighthouse at sunset

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The water tower and powerhouse (at right), which generated electricity for the island.

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A model of Military Point Alcatraz, 1866–1868, now on display at Alcatraz Island

The first Spaniard to document the island was Juan Manuel de Ayala in 1775, who charted San Francisco Bay and named one of the three islands he identified as the “La Isla de los Alcatraces,” which translates as “The Island of the Pelicans,” from the archaic Spanish alcatraz (“pelican”). Over the years, the Spanish version “Alcatraz” became popular and is now widely used. In August 1827, French Captain Auguste Bernard Duhaut-Cilly wrote “… running past Alcatraze’s (Pelicans) Island … covered with a countless number of these birds. A gun fired over the feathered legions caused them to fly up in a great cloud and with a noise like a hurricane.” The California brown pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis californicus) is not known to nest on the island today. The Spanish built several small buildings on the island and other minor structures.

Military Garrison

The earliest recorded owner of the island of Alcatraz is Julian Workman, to whom it was given by Mexican governor Pio Pico in June 1846, with the understanding that Workman would build a lighthouse on it. Julian Workman is the baptismal name of William Workman, co-owner of Rancho La Puente and personal friend of Pio Pico. Later in 1846, acting in his capacity as Military Governor of California, John C. Frémont, champion of Manifest Destiny and leader of the Bear Flag Republic, bought the island for $5,000 in the name of the United States government from Francis Temple. In 1850, President Millard Fillmore ordered that Alcatraz Island be set aside specifically as a United States military reservation, for military purposes based upon the U.S. acquisition of California from Mexico following the Mexican–American War. Frémont had expected a large compensation for his initiative in purchasing and securing Alcatraz Island for the U.S. government, but the U.S. government later invalidated the sale and paid Frémont nothing. Frémont and his heirs sued for compensation during protracted but unsuccessful legal battles that extended into the 1890s.

 

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The lighthouse tower adjacent to the prison cell house

Following the acquisition of California by the United States as a result of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848) which ended the Mexican–American War, and the onset of the California Gold Rush the following year, the U.S. Army began studying the suitability of Alcatraz Island for the positioning of coastal batteries to protect the approaches to San Francisco Bay. In 1853, under the direction of Zealous B. Tower, the United States Army Corps of Engineers began fortifying the island, work which continued until 1858, eventuating in Fortress Alcatraz. The island’s first garrison at Camp Alcatraz, numbering about 200 soldiers and 11 cannons, arrived at the end of that year.

When the American Civil War broke out in 1861, the island mounted 85 cannons (increased to 105 cannons by 1866) in casemates around its perimeter, though the small size of the garrison meant only a fraction of the guns could be used at one time. At this time it also served as the San Francisco Arsenal for storage of firearms to prevent them falling into the hands of Confederate sympathizers. Alcatraz, built as a “heavily fortified military site on the West Coast”, formed a “triangle of defense” along with Fort Point and Lime Point, and ensured security to the bay. The island was also the site of the first operational lighthouse on the West Coast of the United States. Alcatraz never fired its guns offensively, though during the war it was used to imprison Confederate sympathizers and privateers on the west coast.

Military Prison

Because of its isolation from the outside by the cold, strong, hazardous currents of the waters of San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz was used to house Civil War prisoners of war (POWs) as early as 1861.

Following the war in 1866, the army determined the fortifications and guns were being rapidly rendered obsolete by advances in military technology. Modernization efforts, including an ambitious plan to level the entire island and construct shell-proof underground magazines and tunnels, were undertaken between 1870 and 1876 but never completed (the so-called “parade ground” on the southern tip of the island represents the extent of the flattening effort). Instead, the army switched the focus of its plans for Alcatraz from coastal defense to detention, a task for which it was well suited because of its isolation. In 1867, a brick jailhouse was built (previously inmates had been kept in the basement of the guardhouse), and in 1868, Alcatraz was officially designated a long-term detention facility for military prisoners. The facility was later discontinued for POWs in 1946. Among those incarcerated at Alcatraz were Confederates caught on the West Coast, and some Hopi Native American men in the 1870s.

In 1898, the Spanish–American War increased the prison population from 26 to over 450, and from 1905 to 1907 it was commanded by U.S. Army General George W. McIver. After the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, civilian prisoners were transferred to Alcatraz for safe confinement. On March 21, 1907, Alcatraz was officially designated as the Western U.S. Military Prison, later Pacific Branch, U.S. Disciplinary Barracks, 1915. In 1909 construction began on the huge concrete main cell block, designed by Major Reuben Turner, which remains the island’s dominant feature. It was completed in 1912. To accommodate the new cell block, the Citadel, a three-story barracks, was demolished down to the first floor, which was actually below ground level. The building had been constructed in an excavated pit (creating a dry “moat”) to enhance its defensive potential. The first floor was then incorporated as a basement to the new cell block, giving rise to the popular legend of “dungeons” below the main cell block. The Fortress was deactivated as a military prison in October 1933 and transferred to the Bureau of Prisons.

During World War I, the prison held conscientious objectors, including Philip Grosser, who wrote a pamphlet entitled Uncle Sam’s Devil’s Island about his experiences.

Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary

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An exterior view of the Alcatraz main cell block from the exercise yard.

The United States Disciplinary Barracks on Alcatraz was acquired by the United States Department of Justice on October 12, 1933, and the island became a federal prison in August 1934. Alcatraz was designed to hold prisoners who continuously caused trouble at other federal prisons. At 9:40 am on August 11, 1934, the first batch of 137 prisoners arrived at Alcatraz, arriving by railroad from the United States Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas at Santa Venetia, California, before being escorted to Alcatraz, handcuffed in high security coaches and guarded by some 60 special FBI agents, U.S. Marshals and railway security officials. Most of the prisoners were notorious bank robbers and murderers. The prison initially had a staff of 155, including the first warden James A. Johnston and associate warden J. E. Shuttleworth, both considered to be “iron men”. The staff were highly trained in security, but not rehabilitation.

San_Francisco-Alcatraz-Al_Capones_Cell_181

Cell 181 in Alcatraz where Al Capone was imprisoned

During the 29 years it was in use, the jail held some of the most notorious criminals in American history, such as Al Capone, Robert Franklin Stroud (the “Birdman of Alcatraz”), George “Machine Gun” Kelly, Bumpy Johnson, Rafael Cancel Miranda (a member of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party who attacked the United States Capitol building in 1954), Mickey Cohen, Arthur R. “Doc” Barker, James “Whitey” Bulger, and Alvin “Creepy” Karpis (who served more time at Alcatraz than any other inmate). It also provided housing for the Bureau of Prisons staff and their families.

During its 29 years of operation, the penitentiary claimed that no prisoner successfully escaped. A total of 36 prisoners made 14 escape attempts, two men trying twice; 23 were caught alive, six were shot and killed during their escape, two drowned, and five are listed as “missing and presumed drowned”. The most violent occurred on May 2, 1946, when a failed escape attempt by six prisoners led to the Battle of Alcatraz.

On June 11, 1962, Frank Morris, John Anglin, and Clarence Anglin carried out one of the most intricate escapes ever devised.

Post-prison Years

Because the penitentiary cost much more to operate than other prisons (nearly $10 per prisoner per day, as opposed to $3 per prisoner per day at Atlanta), and half a century of salt water saturation had severely eroded the buildings, then Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy ordered the penitentiary closed on March 21, 1963. In addition, citizens were increasingly protesting the environmental effects of sewage released into San Francisco Bay from the approximately 250 inmates and 60 Bureau of Prisons families on the island. That year, the United States Penitentiary in Marion, Illinois, on land, opened as the replacement facility for Alcatraz.

Native American Occupation

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A lingering sign of the 1969–71 Native American occupation (2006 Photograph).

Alcatraz Island was occupied by Native American activists for the first time on March 8, 1964. The event was reported by, among others, the San Francisco Chronicle and the San Francisco Examiner.

Beginning on November 20, 1969, a group of Native Americans called United Indians of All Tribes, mostly college students from San Francisco, occupied the island to protest federal policies related to American Indians. Some of them were children of Indians who had relocated in the city as part of the Bureau of Indian Affairs’ (BIA) Indian termination policy, which was a series of laws and policies aimed at the assimilation of Native Americans into mainstream American society, particularly by encouraging Indians to move away from the Indian reservations and into cities. A number of employees of the Bureau of Indian Affairs also occupied Alcatraz at that time, including Doris Purdy, an amateur photographer, who later produced footage of her stay on the island.

The occupiers, who stayed on the island for nearly two years, demanded the island’s facilities be adapted and new structures built for an Indian education center, ecology center and cultural center. The American Indians claimed the island by provisions of the Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868) between the U.S. and the Sioux; they said the treaty promised to return all retired, abandoned or out-of-use federal lands to the Native peoples from whom it was acquired. (Note: The Treaty of 1868 stated that all abandoned or unused federal land adjacent to the Great Sioux Reservation could be reclaimed by descendants of the Sioux Nation.) Indians of All Tribes then claimed Alcatraz Island by the “Right of Discovery”, as indigenous peoples knew it thousands of years before any Europeans had come to North America. Begun by urban Indians of San Francisco, the occupation attracted other Native Americans from across the country, including American Indian Movement (AIM) urban activists from Minneapolis.

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The Alcatraz cellhouse, lighthouse, and Warden’s House which was burned out during the 1969–71 Native American occupation.

The Native Americans demanded reparation for the many treaties broken by the US government and for the lands which were taken from so many tribes. In discussing the Right of Discovery, the historian Troy R. Johnson states in The Occupation of Alcatraz Island, that indigenous peoples knew about Alcatraz at least 10,000 years before any European knew about any part of North America.

During the nineteen months and nine days of occupation by the American Indians, several buildings at Alcatraz were damaged or destroyed by fire, including the recreation hall, the Coast Guard quarters and the warden’s home. The origin of the fires is disputed. The U.S. government demolished a number of other buildings (mostly apartments) after the occupation had ended. Graffiti from the period of Native American occupation are still visible at many locations on the island.

During the occupation, President Richard Nixon rescinded the Indian termination policy, designed by earlier administrations to end federal recognition of tribes and their special relationship with the US government. He established a new policy of self-determination, in part as a result of the publicity and awareness created by the occupation. The occupation ended on June 11, 1971.

Landmarks


The entire Alcatraz Island was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, and was further declared a National Historic Landmark in 1986. In 1993, the National Park Service published a plan entitled Alcatraz Development Concept and Environmental Assessment. This plan, approved in 1980, doubled the amount of Alcatraz accessible to the public to enable visitors to enjoy its scenery and bird, marine, and animal life.

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Map of Alcatraz

  • Baker Beach
  • Boat Dock
  • Building 64
  • Citadel
  • Dining Hall
  • Former Military Chapel (Bachelor Quarters)
  • Helipad
  • Library
  • Lighthouse
  • Main Cellhouse
  • Model Industries Building
  • Morgue
  • New Industries Building
  • Officers’ Club
  • Parade Grounds
  • Power House
  • Recreation Yard
  • Wardens House
  • Water Tower

Development


Today, American Indigenous groups, such as the International Indian Treaty Council, hold ceremonies on the island, most notably, their “Sunrise Gatherings” every Columbus Day and Thanksgiving Day.

The Global Peace Foundation proposed to raze the prison and build a peace center in its place. During the previous year, supporters collected 10,350 signatures that placed it on the presidential primary ballots in San Francisco for February 5, 2008. The proposed plan was estimated at $1 billion. For the plan to pass, Congress would have to have taken Alcatraz out of the National Park Service. Critics of the plan said that Alcatraz is too rich in history to be destroyed. On February 6, 2008, the Alcatraz Island Global Peace Center Proposition C failed to pass, with 72% of voters rejecting the proposition.

The coastal environment of the San Francisco Bay Area has caused deterioration and corrosion of building materials throughout Alcatraz. Beginning in 2011, the National Park Service began major renovations on the island, including the installation of solar panels on the cell house roof, slope stabilization near the Warden’s House and the stabilization and rehabilitation of the outer cell house walls.

Art


Recently, Alcatraz has been home to several art installations. The famous Chinese artist/dissident Ai Weiwei staged an exhibition which explored “questions about human rights and freedom of expression” called @Large. This 2014, exhibit included Lego portraits of famous political prisoners. In 2016, Nelson Saiers used math and prison slang as central elements in a six-month installation that addressed irrationally long prison sentences.

Fauna and Flora


Habitat

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Brandt’s cormorant nesting on Alcatraz Island

  • Cisterns. A bluff that, because of its moist crevices, is believed to be an important site for California slender salamanders.
  • Cliff tops at the island’s north end. Containing a onetime manufacturing building and a plaza, the area is listed as important to nesting and roosting birds.
  • The powerhouse area. A steep embankment where native grassland and creeping wild rye support a habitat for deer mice.
  • Tide pools. A series of them, created by long-ago quarrying activities, contains still-unidentified invertebrate species and marine algae. They form one of the few tide-pool complexes in the bay, according to the report.
  • Western cliffs and cliff tops. Rising to heights of nearly 100 feet (30 m), they provide nesting and roosting sites for seabirds including pigeon guillemots, cormorants,
  • Heermann’s gulls, and western gulls. Harbor seals can occasionally be seen on a small beach at the base.
  • The parade grounds. Carved from the hillside during the late 19th century and covered with rubble since the government demolished guard housing in 1971, the area has become a habitat and breeding ground for black-crowned night herons, western gulls, slender salamanders, and deer mice.
  • The Agave Path, a trail named for its dense growth of agave. Located atop a shoreline bulkhead on the south side, it provides a nesting habitat for night herons.
    Alcatraz prison and its surroundings.

Flora

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Flowers on Alcatraz

Gardens planted by families of the original Army post, and later by families of the prison guards, fell into neglect after the prison closure in 1963. After 40 years, they are being restored by a paid staff member and many volunteers, thanks to funding by the Garden Conservancy and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy. The untended gardens had become severely overgrown and had developed into a nesting habitat and sanctuary for numerous birds. Now, areas of bird habitat are being preserved and protected, while many of the gardens are being restored to their original state.

In clearing out the overgrowth, workers found that many of the original plants were growing where they had been planted – some more than 100 years ago. Numerous heirloom rose hybrids, including a Welsh rose (Bardou Job) that had been believed to be extinct, have been discovered and propagated. Many species of roses, succulents, and geraniums are growing among apple and fig trees, banks of sweet peas, manicured gardens of cutting flowers, and wildly overgrown sections of native grasses with blackberry and honeysuckle.

In Popular Culture


Alcatraz Island appears often in media and popular culture, including films dating from 1962: The Book of Eli (2010), X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), Catch Me If You Can (2002), The Rock (1996), Murder in the First (1995), Escape from Alcatraz (1979), The Enforcer (1976), Point Blank (1967) , Birdman of Alcatraz (1962) and J. J. Abrams’ 2012 television series Alcatraz.

It also was featured in the Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters anime, in the book Al Capone Does My Shirts, in the video game Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4 as a playable level, and in the video game Call of Duty: Black Ops II in a downloadable zombie survival map called “Mob of the Dead”. It is also featured as a playable racetrack in the 1996 arcade racing video game San Francisco Rush: Extreme Racing. Alcatraz has also been portrayed often as a safe haven or base of operations in many post-apocalyptic movies, such as The Book of Eli.

Alcatraz is featured in the episode “Bird Mummy of Alcatraz” in the children’s program, Mummies Alive! and was also featured in a mission in the video game “Watch Dogs 2”. Alcatraz has also been featured as a map in the game “The Escapists”, as downloadable content

Gallery


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A panorama of Alcatraz as viewed from San Francisco Bay, facing east. Sather Tower and UC Berkeley are visible in the background on the right. (Drag image left and right to show full panorama.)

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Different view of the Water Tower built in 1940.

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Alcatraz Utility House and Power Plant Chimney, built in 1939.

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School House (two story building in the middle) and the Electric Repair shop (foreground) built in 1930s.

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Views of both long sides of the island.

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Alcatraz Island harbor guards tower.

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Alcatraz Island view from the west. Image shot from an altitude of approximately 1,800 ft (549 m).

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Alcatraz view from tour boat.

Opera Snapshot_2017-11-03_070351_www.reservealcatraz.com