Inside Al Capones £8m mansion where gangster died as house set for demolition

Al Capone's holiday mansion on an island off Florida looks set for demolition.

After buying the pad for $40,000 (£29,000) in 1928, the crime boss used it for a winter escape while Chicago froze over.

It was at the pearl white-walled house in Florida that a 29-year-old Al Capone threw pool parties in the comfort of round-the-clock security who stayed in the guest house.

Just three years later, the gangster was jailed for tax evasion, serving six and a half years in federal prison.

On release from Alcatraz, he spent his final years at the mansion suffering from paresis, a partial paralysis resulting from syphilis until he died of cardiac arrest in a guest room in 1947.

Several decades later and Al Capone's sunny retreat in the exclusive neighbourhood on Palm Island, in Biscayne Bay, is being ticketed for the wrecking ball, The New York Times reports.

Real estate developers who have bought the property say the building's structural problems and Capone’s violent legacy, make it not worth saving, according to The Miami Herald.

The house has hardly remained a relic to the once-feared mobster as his wife Mae, sold it in 1952, and has been lived in by several owners since, home magazine Elle Decor reports.

Todd Glaser, a real estate developer who along with Nelson Gonzalez, an investor, purchased the home for $10.75 million (£7.8 million).

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Mr Glaser said: "It’s not something to celebrate, in my eyes. It’s not worthy of being saved because it’s lived its life.

"The house is 100 years old."

However, the executive director of the Miami Design Preservation League disagrees.

Daniel Ciraldo argues: "He wasn’t a saint by any means but, at the same time, we think his home is a part of the history of our city: the good, the bad and the ugly. And we don’t think it should be torn down and replaced with a McMansion."

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Mr. Glaser and his business partner want to knock it down and rebuild a modern two-story home with eight bedrooms and bathrooms, a Jacuzzi, a sauna, and a spa.

It is expected to sell for a staggering $45 million (£38.6 million).

The 30,000 square foot plot is surrounded by palm trees and has a waterfront view, attracting tour boats pointing out "This was the home of Al Capone!" Mr Ciraldo says.

Mr. Glaser said a few people have asked him not to tear down the house which he claims has flood damage because it is three feet below sea level.

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He added: "It’s crazy the exposure that this house is getting because of who owned it. It’s embarrassing."

The preservation league was blindsided by news of the house’s possible demolition, Mr Ciraldo said.

Now, a meeting with the Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board is set for September 13, where residents will be able to provide input.

An online petition to preserve the Capone mansion has had hundreds of signatures.

On the flip side, Mr. Glaser says he has received "a tremendous amount of support" from people who agree Capone does not deserve remembrance.

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