Developers who purchased Al Capone’s Palm Island mansion earlier this summer are intent on razing it to the floor. City officials want to elevate it to historical landmark status.
Al Capone’s residence in Palm Island, located near Miami Beach, could soon be torn down. The infamous mansion has developers and conservationists at loggerheads with the possibility of demolishing a building that some consider being of great historical importance and others simply deem as a total “wrecking ball.”
Real Estate developer, Todd Glaser, and his business partner, Nelson Gonzalez, purchased the beach house with the intention of tearing it to the ground and building a luxury, two-story home with eight bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a sauna and a spa in its stead, reports the Miami Herald.
Glaser, who had previously torn down a property belonging to the disgraced sex offender Jeffrey Epstein according to the New York Times, explained to the Herald that the iconic house is severely damaged. “The house is a piece of crap,” said the real estate developer. “It’s embarrassing.”
The mansion, which was built in 1922, currently seats 3 feet below sea level has water damage and standing water beneath it. But its poor state isn’t the only reason why developers want to tear down Capone’s mansion. “It’s not something to celebrate, in my eyes,” Glaser told the Times referring to Al Capone’s murderous and corrupt reputation. “It’s not worthy of being saved because it’s lived its life. The house is a hundred years old.”
However, city officials and many others disagree with Glaser’s view on the subject and see the Palm Island mansion as a building of great historical and cultural value. “He wasn’t a saint by any means,” said Daniel Ciraldo, the executive director of the Miami Design Preservation League, in his interview with the NY Times. “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.”