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Real Estate & Property Law

Alcatraz water tower’s $1.5M renovation includes restoration of graffiti

Posted Jan 14, 2013 4:20 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Image of Alcatraz and its water tower from Shutterstock.

Ordinarily, it is a federal crime to scribble graffiti on federal property.

But as part of a $1.5 million renovation of a water tower at Alcatraz, an infamous former prison on an island near San Francisco, the National Park Service not only agreed that graffiti from a historic American Indian occupation there between 1969 and 1971 could remain but OK'd the restoration of the huge red letters, which had faded over the past 40 years, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Consequently, visitors are now welcomed by the statement "PEACE AND FREEDOM WELCOME HOME OF THE FREE INDIAN LAND" blazoned on the water tower, one of the most visible structures on the site.

"We restored it because it has a social significance," site supervisor Marcus Koenen told the newspaper. "It is part of what this park is all about."

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Alcatraz Visit: Feel Like a Prisoner"

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