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You can soon own a notorious piece of history from Chicago, Illinois, according to the Chicago Tribune.

No, this story isn’t related to Governor Blagojevich, as timely as this might be.

The modest, red-brick home once owned by prohibition gangster, Al Capone, will go on the market in early 2009  for approximately $450,000 USD.

The South Side, two-flat property, which has had just  two owners since the death of Capone’s mother in 1952, is now over a century old.  It stands near the corner of 72nd Street and South Prairie Avenue in the working-class Park Manor neighborhood.

Cook County records show the Capones bought the home for $5,500 USD in August 1923,  the Prohibition era, with his mother, Teresa, and wife, Mae, signing their names to the original deed.

Al Capone was in his early 20s when his family moved from Brooklyn to Chicago, but he was already building his legend. His bootlegging, gambling and prostitution enterprises were famously headquartered in Cicero and later moved to a suite in the old Lexington Hotel at Cermak Road and Michigan Avenue in Chicago.

Capone died in 1947, but his mother remained in the home until her death five years later, at which point the property was taken over by a local bank.

The current owner purchased the home for $29,500 USD in 1963, with little interest in the property’s notoriety.

The exterior of the six-bedroom, split-level property remains pretty much unchanged to Capone’s time, and indeed much of the interior is also original, with detailed green and white tiles in the front entrance, dark hardwood floors and narrow hallways. The home also features a large basement with a crumbling wine cellar

At an estimated $450,000, the Capone home would be on the upper end of homes for sale in the neighborhood. Typical listings for large, split-levels of that vintage are $250,000 to $400,000.

Considering its history, the home is a marvel of inconspicuous understatement.

Simon Turner

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