Alcatraz, the infamous island prison located in the mouth of San Francisco Bay, is now a popular tourist attraction administered by the National Park Service. One of the major draws to this fascinating historical site is the reinforced-concrete cell house built more than 80 years ago. Designed as a solid fortress to prevent the escape of prisoners, the structure is now showing signs of serious deterioration.

Kurt Raillard, the structural engineer who made a visual inspection of the cell house in May 1990, thought the prison building on Alcatraz was in good condition, considering the building's age and the quality of the concrete used. However, the prison and other major buildings on Alcatraz will need to be repaired if the island is to remain a tourist attraction. A program for evaluating and repairing concrete buildings on Alcatraz is awaiting government funding.