Prohibition—during which the possession, consumption, or distribution of alcohol was made illegal in the United States—lasted only 13 years, but the stealthy waterholes that defied the ban retain a certain mystique even today. After all, who wouldn't want to have a bar stashed away behind a false bookcase? Well, the sellers of this Philadelphia, Pa. mansion are hoping someone is impressed enough to shell out $4.75M for their historic property. But considering this particular speakeasy housed not only a bar but a full-fledged bowling alley, along with the other virtues of an 11,000-square-foot stone manor on five acres, this shouldn't be such a hard sell. Completed in 1932 as Prohibition was on its last legs, this mansion houses even older bits of history, like wood paneling from the hunting lodge of King James II.
? Over in San Francisco, we had previously taken notice of this $4.25M townhouse for its spectacular views of the Presidio, San Fran's wild park. It is perhaps even more remarkable for the extensive speakeasy area, with unusually high ceilings and well-preserved wood bar. This particular underground tipple joint even had windows, which, because they faced the park, did not rouse the suspicion of local authorities.
? This next place is located not far from downtown Spokane, Wash. but thanks to a secluded location amid the region's tall pines, did not attract attention when the whole house was used as a speakeasy back in the '20s. There's not much in the way of hidden doors in this place, but the classic details of the era are exceedingly well preserved and so is that privacy, at least enough to justify a $500K price tag.
? Judging from the listing photos, it might be hard to imagine that this $650K townhouse once housed a dance hall and illicit drinking establishment. The look is more 1990s loft than something from the 1890s, but apparently the 6,000-square-foot pad was once home to stealthy soirees for Chicago's crooked elite. Hell, the Chicago gangster Al Capone might once have paced these halls. Too bad most remnants of that era have been obliterated to make way for bland cabinetry.
? By 1928, with East Hampton, N.Y. well into its first decades of popularity as a summer destination for rich urbanites, it should come as little surprise that speakeasies would pop up in this capital of leisure. This unassuming shingle house features a fireplace in the basement, an area that was once used as a hidden drinking establishment. The structure looks largely unmolested since then and is currently for sale for $2.95M.
· 9002 Crefeld Street [Christie's]
· 2 18th Ave [Redfin]
· Park Views Lend Some Serenity to the City, Pain to Wallet [Curbed National]
· 2405 N Houston Rd [Zillow]
· 1511 W. Cortez Street [Trulia]
· 19 Mill Hill Ln [Zillow]