Thursday, August 05, 2010

Harry Caray Link to the Chicago Mob?

The former Chicago Varnish company building is 115 years old -- a Dutch renaissance revival masterpiece – and is famous for more than just being the home to Harry Caray’s, one of Chicago's most famous eateries.

There's a connection to Chicago's Gangland Era, and in particular to AL Capone's top henchman Frank Nitti, the enforcer, who held an apartment there from 1939 to 1943.

There's a separate bedroom with a cedar-lined closet, and a still-functioning bathroom replete with vintage pink and black tile. And there's more: Harry Caray's president and managing partner Grant Deporter took FOX Chicago to the basement, where 15 years ago an electrician discovered a passageway behind a wall he was working on.

The tunnel -- once a distribution path for coal – is now used for storage.

Back in the basement, in what is now Harry Caray's wine room, there’s a bit of history we have no chance of destroying: an old safe believed to belong to Nitti.

Thanks to Corey McPherrin

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