After years of shying away from our gangster history, the City of Chicago has finally recognized mobster Al Capone by putting up on a city sign marking the sites of the Metropole and Lexington hotels, two Capone haunts on South Michigan Avenue.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that the city's Department of Transportation put up the signs late last year as part of a Michigan Avenue "streetscape project."
CDOT spokesman Brian Steele told the Sun-Times that there is no known rule preventing the city from acknowledging Capone in city signs, and sign creator Jandra Fraire told the paper that Capone's legacy made the hotels more interesting.
While Fraire referenced his criminal activity in the sign initially, she was ultimately told to tone that aspect down:
The folks at Transportation wanted more of an emphasis on the architecture, less on the gangster angle, she said.
Even though Chicago's mobster legacy is unsavory, it is history--and a tourist magnet:
"It's who we are," John Russick, senior curator at the Chicago History Museum told the Sun-Times. "It's how we came to be -- the good, the bad and the ugly."
Aside from the infamous Metropole and Lexington hotels, the city is littered with old mob hangouts. Here are a few other Capone haunts: