Why this Blog Exists

To make the case for expanding the Park Slope Historic District

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Al Capone, Park Sloper

Amongst other such notables as Barack Obama, Al Capone was a Park Sloper.

Al Capone mugshot

Young Al is associated with two addresses in Garfield Place, and with P.S. 133. According to his Wikipedia article, his family first lived at 38 Garfield Place, on the south side of the block between 4th & 5th Avenues:

40-38-36 Garfield Place - unprotected

The Capone family immigrated to the United States in 1893 and settled at 95 Navy Street, in the Navy Yard section of downtown Brooklyn, near the Barber Shop that employed Gabriele at 29 Park Avenue. When Al was 11, the Capone family moved to 38 Garfield Place in Park Slope, Brooklyn. (wikipedia)

While living in Park Slope, Capone attended P.S. 133, a few blocks north of his Garfield Place residence. Capone's biography dismisses the school as a "hideous Gothic monstrosity", but the building was well-loved by its neighbors and was the subject of an unsuccessful preservation campaign:

Excerpt from Capone by Laurence Bergreen

P.S. 133 - unprotected "Gothic monstrosity"
C. B. J. Snyder, architect

After being expelled from school, the 14-year-old Capone began running with several Park Slope street gangs. Around the same time, his family moved down the block to 21 Garfield Place, on the north side of the street:

17-19-21 Garfield Place - unprotected

Shortly after he was expelled, his father moved the family to 21 Garfield Place, in the neighborhood that would influence the direction of Capone's life and ultimately, his future. Capone joined two local street gangs, the Brooklyn Rippers and the Forty Thieves Juniors. Among the members were Johnny Torrio and Lucky Luciano. (u-s-history)

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