Mansions can sometimes have historical significance, a mix of sentiments attached to them, and a high price tag to boot. These glorious structures are not like your average homes adorned with a renovated patio and wooden deck, entering one is equivalent to entering a whole new world. You can even get lost in one if not accompanied by someone who is well versed with the structure.
And, what makes them even more glamorous is if they belong to famous personalities – gangsters to be specific. One such mansion located on Miami Beach belongs to the notorious gangster Al Capone. Priced at $15 million, it has recently been sold for $10.75 million this summer. And its new owners have an entirely new plan for what the future of this mansion is to be.
The mansion is set to take on the wrecking ball in a matter of days. The historic label it has been cloaked with over the last few decades has not been sufficient enough to save it from crumbling to the ground. Why is this so? Well, read ahead to find out all the details.
Who Was Al Capone?
We are all well versed in the Prohibition era. It started with the onset of the 18th Amendment that put a clampdown on the manufacture, transportation, and sale of alcohol during the roaring ’20s. There are numerous movies and documentaries made over it.
During this period Al Capone became a well-known figure. He was not just an American gangster but a businessman during this period of American history. He is often known by his nicknames Scarface and Big Al among others. His tenure as a crime boss and gangster however only lasted for a few years, 7 to be exact. At the age of 33, he found himself behind bars and died at the age of 47 from a heart attack. But, his Florida home remained.
What is interesting is that this mansion was where Al Capone planned and executed the Saint Valentine’s Day Massacre from. This was an ambush on February 14th, 1929, where 7 members of Al Capone’s rival gang members were killed. This rival gang was headed by George Bugs Moran, another renowned Prohibition-era gangster in Chicago at that time. His members were killed by men dressed as police officers in a Chicago parking garage. The case till today remains unresolved.
The Mansion Details – From Then to Now
The mansion was initially bought by Al Capone for $40,000 in 1928. He took his last few breaths in the mansion and died there. But, that’s not all. He also spent over $200,000 on having a few adjustments made to the mansion such as adding searchlights, and a gatehouse, and extending the boundaries by adding a 7-foot wall. For a gangster of his caliber, security and protection were vital. He spent most of his time hiding out in the mansion and plotting his next moves.
Originally listed at around $15 million after several restoration projects, it was now sold for $10.75 million. The mansion has 9 magnificent bedrooms with a 59 x 29.5 ft. pool that was one of the largest private pools in the ’30s.
Demolition & And Future Plan
The developer, Todd Glaser, and owner Nelson Gonzalez have decided to demolish the mansion and replace it with a modern home that comes with a spa, sauna, and Jacuzzi. This new home is to have 8 bedrooms and bathrooms instead of 9.
The reason for doing so is because of the years of flood damage that have rendered the mansion uninhabitable and useless. The mansion also rests below sea level making it even more prone to weather-related damage. Todd Glaser has described it as a” disgrace” to Miami Beach. He has also torn down and replaced the property that belonged to the sex offender, Jeffrey Epstein as well.
While this has sparked a lot of debate on whether the mansion should be preserved or demolished, the decision has been set. The Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board has decided to contemplate the historic designation of the mansion on September 13th, but Todd Glaser has confirmed that the plans to demolish the mansion are to be executed as planned.
Al Capone’s Other Belongings
There is no doubt that Al Capone did not have other belongings and assets there were worth millions. From precious stones, gold, cars, and more, the items are now set to be auctioned by his family in Sacramento. His bulletproof 1928 Cadillac sedan for instance has been listed for over $1 million.
In total these amount to almost 175 belongings that are being auctioned off by Al Capone’s granddaughters in October this year. This is owing to the threat they are under because of the recent escalation in the severity and intensity of wildfires along the west coast. Thus, the family believes it is better to have them sold off and preserved, rather than have them burnt to ashes.
The Bottom Line
Al Capone’s heritage and assets left behind are a reminder of the peculiarities and fascinating turn of events that took place during the Prohibition period. While most prefer having the items along with the mansion preserved for historic reasons, many seek to detach themselves from the notorious gang culture that engulfed the country and took over countless lives. For the latter celebrating and glorifying the remains of symbols that have a murderous reputation is not worth it.
All in all, the wrecking ball is set to take its course and demolish the mansion that once stood tall and fortified.