Al Capone’s Miami Manse for Sale at $9.95M
When Al Capone bought a home on Miami Beach’s Palm Island in 1928, he was already one of the country’s most notorious gangsters as well as one of its most admired celebrities, a juxtaposition that was hardly uncommon in the so-called Magic City. Now, fans of the original Scarface can purchase the house that he owned for 20 years until his death there at age 48. Priced at $9.95 million, the property was originally constructed in 1922 by Clarence Busch, heir to the Anheuser-Busch fortune, and is an exemplary example of the city’s Mediterranean Revival architectural craze, with a dash of deco detailing for extra effect.
the house became famous for its owner’s Jazz Age bacchanals.
Capone added not only a guesthouse at the front of the property—an ideal perch for bodyguards—but also the two-story cabana and 30-by-60-foot swimming pool, at that time Florida’s largest at a private residence. Naturally, the house became famous for its owner’s Jazz Age bacchanals, the syncopated sounds of which reverberated across the water to nearby Belle Isle, where the estate of mass retailer J.C. Penney occupied the entire northwest quadrant. In fact, Capone’s Miami nocturnes may have been his undoing, for legend has it that one of Penney’s guests, President-elect Herbert Hoover, grew so irritated at the dissonant chords and general air of dissolution wafting over from Capone’s estate that he sicced the IRS on him, eventually leading to his arrest and imprisonment. (An alternate version states that the Miami press was more interested in the glamorous gangster than the prosperous politician, thus arousing the latter’s jealousy and desire for revenge.)
Still, Capone always said it was his favorite home—he used his high-profile presence at it as an alibi when seven men were killed on his orders during Chicago’s St. Valentine’s Day Massacre of 1929—and returned to it upon his release from prison in 1939. Now, the buildings and 30,000-square-foot lot—including 100 feet of Biscayne Bay frontage—are again up for grabs, proving Miami’s history remains criminally seductive.