By Launce Rake
If walls could talk, these would have some pretty interesting stories to tell.
Al Capone’s Chicago house is for sale.
It’s the home at 7244 S. Prairie Avenue where Al “Scarface” Capone lived during his rise to power. The asking price for what is now a divided, two-story, six-bedroom duplex is $225,000.
Capone bought the home in 1923 for $5,500. He lived there through his early years working for Chicago organized crime kingpin Johnny “The Fox” Torrio, through his ascension to the leadership of the Chicago Mob, and through the bloody gang wars that culminated in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929 when seven rival gangsters died in a hail of machine-gun fire.
“This was an address on a tranquil, middle-class South Side suburban street far from the turmoil of the Loop and the corruption of Johnny Torrio’s vice, booze and gambling empire,” writes Laurence Bergreen in his biography, Capone: The Man and the Era. “The cushion of distance appealed to Capone’s need for safety, but he took further precautions to customize the house, installing iron bars on the basement windows and a large brick garage around the back to house his cars, which were always at the ready should he need to make a hasty departure.”
In 1931, Capone was sentenced to 11 years in prison for income tax evasion, and he died at his second home, a much grander mansion in Florida, in 1947. His family sold the Chicago home in 1953.
The real estate agent handling the sale, Christine Moscinski, has started a petition to preserve the house, potentially as a museum. See the real estate listing here.
Launce Rake is content development specialist for The Mob Museum.