The Chicago Syndicate: You Can Buy Al Capones's House

Monday, December 29, 2008

You Can Buy Al Capones's House

Prohibition-era Chicago mob boss Al Capone's house is going up for sale in the spring, the current owner says.

The six-bedroom red-brick home in a working-class neighborhood on the city's South Side is expected to be priced at $450,000, the Chicago Tribune reported Thursday. The house, which the Capone family bought for $5,500 in 1923, stayed in the family's possession until the death of his mother in 1952.

"I've read some things about (Capone), and I've seen the 'Untouchables,' but I never really thought about this being his home," said Barbara Hogsette, 71, a retired special education teacher who has lived in the house since 1963. "This is my home. I never thought it was that sensational that he had lived here."

The exterior of the split-level house is virtually as it was when Capone called it home. Much of the interior is original, too.

Capone earned nationwide notoriety for his illegal bootlegging, gambling and prostitution businesses. Historians say he tried to avoid drawing police to the Prairie Avenue home, which was held in the name of his mother and wife. But they came anyway, in December 1927. A story in the Tribune at that time described him being trapped inside while police waited for him to step out so they could arrest him.

"It's an outrage," Capone was quoted as saying. "I'll seek the protection of the courts if I'm arrested when I leave here."

He did avoid arrest that time and it was four more years before he was convicted on tax evasion charges. He died in 1947.

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