Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Capone home on the market

For sale: Six-room two-flat in Chicago's Park Manor neighborhood; ornate tile work; impressive brick exterior; an underground cellar big enough to hide some cash or ditch a tommy gun.

The home at 7244 S. Prairie Ave. once owned by mobster Al Capone and his family has hit the market for $450,000. It's a hefty sum considering similar two-flats in that working-class South Side neighborhood are selling for $180,000 to $230,000. But no other home in Chicago can match the history of the modest brick house that has had just two owners since Capone's mother died in 1952.

"I'm looking for people who would be interested in the historical value of this home," said Patrice Brazil, the Coldwell Banker agent who's listing it. "It's an excellent home, and it's in great shape."

Records show the Capones bought the home for $5,500 in 1923 after moving from Brooklyn, N.Y., where Al Capone's notorious business interests began. Capone centered his bootlegging, gambling and prostitution enterprises in Cicero and later moved them to the old Lexington Hotel at Cermak Road and Michigan Avenue. But he was a frequent guest of his mother's, famously barricading himself inside one December night in 1927 when police threatened to arrest him.
Via YoChicago's Neighborhood items, however JP Paulus was already on top of this story on Christmas Eve last year.

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