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The Sad Demise Of Al Capone's Estate
93 Palm Avenue, Miami Beach

(Al Capone's Former home)

A true story of numbers, houses and curses

I have a long history with them! These original house numbers are still visible when looking at them very close up. They have been forgotten through time and have been painted over with many coats of paint over several decades of ownership. They seem covered up, as if by some shame of who had once lived there. Since the house is eventually going to to be demolished, I figured I would move fast to contact the current owners. I was hoping to count on their kindness and understanding in the possiblility of acquiring these numbers. The thought was for me to restore them, make a webpage featuring this entire process for other history buffs visiting my website to witness and enjoy. The other thought was to eventually have them professionally framed and give them to my good friend Diane Capone, who is by the way, none other than Al Capone's granddaughter. She had many fond memories of that home as a child, and later visiting there until Mae sold it in 1952. It was in this home that Diane said good-bye to her dying grandfather Al Capone on January 25,1947. When I told her about the eventual demolition, Diane was very saddened to hear this news. She was emotional, but stated the following; "We will always have our memories!"
So I thought it would have been cool to re-engage and finally get those numbers, especially after seeing and reading through the newspapers that the new owners could care less about Capone factor or the historical nature of the home. After all, I thought to myself, what would a successful millionaire businessman care about two old camoflaged weather beaten, pitted and overly painted fragile house numbers? As a self styled longtime keeper of the Capone history, I was now on a mission! I can't save the house, but at least perhaps I could at least save the old house numbers! So with a positive attitude, I set out in earnest to contact the owners Albert and Karise Claramonte at 85 Palm Avenue.
After sending a letter I got no response. Crickets as my friend would say! Maybe I was asking too much? Did they even bother to read my site? The work and countless hours of research I had put in to it?
Just a little revisionist history for context before I continue. Right before the Claramontes had acquired the property, I had asked the previous short lived owner / developer Todd Glaser about the house numbers. He stated publically and over the phone to me that "The Capone home was a piece of crap and should be torn down!" When I contacted him, he said he would give me the numbers if the house was not historically designated by the Miami Preservation Board, and at the time it was to be demolished. Well, without warning and a couple of weeks later, he sold the house to someone else (Claramontes) and said I was out of luck as the house was now no longer his.

 September 8, 2021, exchange with developer Todd Michael Glaser about the 93 Palm Avenue numbers.
These texts followed the next day after our phone conversation. During the phone conversation, he had mentioned that if the historic designation fell through, then he would give me the numbers upon demolition.
Evidently, this was all hot air as he never contacted me again.

New York Times for September 7, 2021. Glaser just happens to mention my interest in the front house numbers in the story.
Glaser used this as a way to garner interest for his newly acquired property for sale.

Cherished memories. Enjoying a hot summer's day in Al Capone's pool cabana.

The really sad part was that I could have gotten them had I had the forsight that the house would eventually be demolished. You see, back in 2011-2013, I was friends with two previous owners who were very kind to me. They would have given the numbers in a heartbeat with no questions asked! Again, foresight is everything, but since I do not own a crystal ball, I never in a million years would have thought that house would eventually be demolished! At the time I was at the Miami home, I was stressed from travelling and had to do a tv interview in the Capone home. I never paid attention to getting them while I was there and totally forgotten about the house numbers. What's the saying? Out of sight and out of mind, then the years pass, and then I had lost my opportunity once the house was sold, pandemic etc....!
I was lucky to fall upon new owner Karise Claramonte's email address. I explained to her who I was, and the possibility of acquiring the old forgotten house numbers. She was very gracious and kind! I was excited to say the least when she replied back to my email " Absolutely! You can have the numbers!"
After 10 years of waiting, hearing these words meant the world to me, and I was so elated!
Well, as with most things in life, that elation was very short lived. She had rightly mentioned our exchange to her husband, Albert, but unfortunately, he was NOT at all okay with it, and within 4 hours after accepting my request, I got a dreaded follow up email from Karise that this request was now reversed and denied by Albert Claramonte.

Finally contact!
Elation and then my heart sank!

After 35 years of dedicating my research on Al Capone, and 10 years trying to obtain the old numbers, I thought just how cool would it be to end my research career on a positive note with actually getting those numbers? Oh well! Lord knows I tried! I really did! I now have to face the fact and have to give up on them! Unfortunately for me, luck and Mr. Albert Claramonte are not on my or history's side!
Just as my great pal and newly adopted sister Diane Patricia Capone stated, at least I will still have the memories! No one, not even a millionaire can hold those away from me!
Stay tuned and read below for more news on the eventual demolition of the Capone home!

The sad news has finally come to pass, this, after many years of renovations through several caring owners. The latest news arrived after a series of strange events concerning the sale and the Miami Design Preservation League's valiant bid to try and save the home through meetings for historic designation.

This below statement on MDPL's website.

"MDPL was disappointed to learn that a recent State of Florida bill has limited the ability of the City of Miami Beach and others to regulate the historic preservation of single-family homes that have any floor below the new construction requirements. This is an essential redlining of these homes and neighborhoods: as we have demonstrated, the lowest floor of the Al Capone house would not be susceptible to sea level rise until 2100. But, since it is below the new construction requirements, suddenly it cannot be considered for designation according to this misguided rule."

A hearing for 93 Palm Avenue's historic designation by the Miami Historic Preservation Board was all of a sudden cancelled during the meeting of July 12, 2022. The mysterious new law passed in May of 2022, by Governor Ron DeSantis, circumvented the historic designation without the owners permission. That new law went into effect on July 1, 2022  and quashed the meeting to be held to save the Capone home from the wrecking ball. As for saving history? The new owners would have none of it! They have since taken out a demolition permit and have hired Coral Gables Construction to knock it all down for $25,000.

See video (number 4) of 93 Palm meeting HERE  

Here is a ownership history of Al Capone's Miami Estate

After the Capone era, the house was sold by Mae Capone to Cleveland realtor Thomas Warren Miller in 1952. After living there a couple of months in 1955 to destigmatize the Capone aura, he sold it and took most of the furnishings Mae left behind with him. (Verified)
 *(Most of that ended up in an April 1992 Capone auction in Chicago by Leslie Hindman).

February 14,1952.

After Miller left, the house was owned by Mr. Harry Renkert 1956- 61 (Verified).

Next it was sold to Dr. James C. Chimerakis, a Coral Gables physcian and surgeon. 1960's (Verified).

In October 1967, Dr. Chimerakis tried to sell the house for $75,000, but It remained on the market for a while. He finally sold it to William Knowles on June 12, 1968 for $48,000 (Verified).

1968 Miami Herald Real Estate Ad

On January 8, 1969, the home was sold to Mr. Roy Fowler for $50,000 (Unverified).

In 1971, Delta airline pilot Henry T. Morrison was looking for a home. He liked 93 Palm avenue and without even knowing it was the old Capone abode purchased it for $56,000 (Verified).

 After 35 years, Henry Morrison placed it on the market in 2006, and was owned in 2011-13 by Peter Corsell (Verified).

My personal connection to 93 Palm Avenue

I have very personal fond memories of 93 Palm Avenue! I had spent time there over the course of 2 years, when my friend Peter Corsell had owned it.
He was a very gracious and kind owner, and so was the great Henry "Hank" Morrison, who had owned it previously. No other owners have come even close to their kindness and understanding! They got it! Who I was, and where I was coming from! Because of them, I got to swim in the pool, sleep in the house, smoke a cigar in the pool cabana while waving to the tourist boats passing by. They made a humble man's dream come true. And I realize and appreciate that it's a privilege that many will never get to experience! For that, and to them, I will be forever grateful! This culminated my entire career researching and collecting Al Capone. I had dedicated my 35 years at correcting the story of this historical figure known the world over!
Moreover, this house is special to me because of my connection to Diane "Pat" Capone. She is Al Capone's granddaughter! Over the years, she has become a close and cherished friend! She's even adopted me as her little brother! It's a caring distinction that warms my heart forever! As a child, she said good bye to her dying grandfather in this house! It's where her dad grew up, went to school, fell in love and went on to father four wonderful daughters!. The family always reunited there for Christmas and family dinners. It's where her grandmother Mae Capone waited for her husband to come back to her from Alcatraz. It's also where she lost him and where she spent her later years in many moments of solitude. So it might be a "piece of crap" to developer Mr. Todd Glaser, but not to anyone who has a heart, or especially to anyone who has previously lived there with family!

Here I'm with former Capone home owner Henry "Hank" Morrison.
He owned the Capone home from 1971- 2011. A retired Delta airline pilot, Hank was a super and gracious host.
A kind and easy going human being so pleasant to talk to.

What a beautiful and inviting pool!

Here I am with former Capone home owner Peter Corsell.
He owned it from 2011-2013. Peter is a great guy who understood the history part of the ownership and was the first to fully renovate the home.
I got to enjoy the home before and after the renovation. He contacted me out of the blue and invited me over.

While staying at the Capone home in 2012, a film crew came over to do a tv special.

Swimming in Al Capone's pool.

Sadly, in October 2013, my friend Peter Corsell sold it after renovating it. It proved a headache for him as Miami Beach were complaining about anal building requirements at the time. It was purchased by a French couple through a Florida company managed by New York accountant Anthony Panebianco. It was sold for $7.4 million (Verified).

The French couple divorced shortly after acquiring the home, it was now back on the market only six months later and sold to a private investor and managed by MB America. They purchased the home for $8.5 million and an additional 1.75 million was put on further renovations. (Verified)
It was later supposedly sold to soccer agent Mino Raiola in 2016 (Unverified and not at all true).

In 2021, a real estate agent, who was also the same agent that was selling the home for MB America, and his partner, a developer, bought the home from MB America for 10.8 million. MB America had decided to sell after failing to make money using the place for film shoots, and as a rental space for special events.
They were having trouble selling the place and after a couple of years off the market it sold once again. This entry below from reporter Brian Bandell from the South Business report for September 9, 2021.

"Carol Invest USA, managed by Emanuela Verlicchi Marazzi of MB America in Doral, sold the 6,077-square-foot home at 93 Palm Ave. The buyers were Quantum Equity One LLC, managed by Laurent Groll in Sunny Isles Beach, and 93 Capone LLC, managed by Nelson Gonzalez in Sunny Isles Beach. Miami-based City National Bank of Florida provided a $6.15 million mortgage to the buyer.

See Capone Home sells for 10.75 Million

 After the purchase, the agent's sidekick developer made the news with loud derogatory threats to demolish the home if the historic designation to the home was not achieved through meetings with Miami's Historic preservation board. Todd Glaser said the Capone home "Was a piece of crap!" The preservationists had prepared contrary arguements, documents, witnesses as to why this home should be preserved and then voted on to be given the historical site assignation. The meeting to make the decision in favor or not to keep the home intact was to be held on July 12, 2022. Oddly, at the last minute, the meeting never took place! A sudden new law was added to the books by the Governor of Florida. Four months later, Governor DeSantis was re-elected by a landslide. This was funny because at his first election, he barely squeaked by for the win. You can make of these facts what you want. Coincidence or?? Were real estate agents and building contractors lobbying Governor DeSantis to pass this new obscure law? If so, it's totally a dream come true for all of them! $$$$$

Thomas Mooney, the city's director of planning state the following in the Miami Herald. "Before recent state legislation, if a home was built before 1942, the [Miami Beach] Design Review Board had to review the design of the new home."

And so now with the new law, the old house is doomed and new cut and paste glass houses will be the norm from now on in Miami!

The new owners (Developer Glaser and Real estate agent Gonzalez) briefly / oddly, held on to the house for just several weeks until it was sold once again in Sept/ October 2021. Glaser gloated in the press that it was like winning the lottery since he made a fast 5 million profit on the house. This time it was sold for 15.5 million (5.5 Million more) to Albert and Karise Claramonte, under 93 Palm Residence LLC, which is now managed by Coral Gables accountant Toni Alam. The Claramontes, also just happen to be the owners of the house next door at 85 Palm Avenue. Yes, that's right next door to Al Capone's house! During the first news of the sale, the Claramontes claimed in the press that they were buying the house for their children's heritage, and that no demolition would occur. They later seem to change their minds. During these various back and forth transactions, the Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis just conveniently happened to pass a law that overrides any historic designation, thus giving the Claramontes the right to totally demolish the Al Capone estate without any opposition or repercussions.
As of this writing, the Claramontes have taken out a demolition permit on September 28, 2022. Once that goes through approval, they have 9 months to demolish the entire historic homestead at 93 Palm Avenue. They have supposedly hired a contractor friend (Coral Gables Construction) to demolish it all for $25,000. Now I'm not a paranormal guy by any stretch, but I have heard from several people that Al's spirit will not rest if the house where he died is torn down. His wife Mae and his son just loved that home! I'm just glad I'm not the owners who are tearing it down, because In life, there always seems to be some kind of Karma going around! Do a nice gesture, and you will one day get a nice gesture in turn. Deny someone something, and you or yours also, in turn, will one day be denied! That's just life!

Bad Luck and Trouble?

The Capone Curse

The house was often up for sale. 6 owners just in the last 10 years! Even back in the past, some hinted at a Capone curse!
Three couples who had owned the house later divorced. One caretaker died in a hurricane. One owner died of cancer. Another owner almost died in a boat explosion in front of the boat dock.

Mr. Harry Renkert narrowly escaped death on October 14,1961, when his yacht exploded in the back of 93 Palm Avenue.
The explosion could be seen for miles. Mr. Renkert was the owner of Capone's home in 1961.

Ad in1967 Miami Herald. Owner is anxious to sell the home? I wonder why?