State Senator Carl Kruger, accused of shady dealings in connection with a number of Brooklyn real estate projects?including Atlantic Yards and the Brooklyn Navy Yard?has had a long and complicated and possibly intimate relationship with members of the Turano family of Mill Basin. And seeing as how the Kruger case will one day make for a great Dateline special, the Times investigated these colorful characters in great detail. But the star of the show, by far, is the Turano's gaudy 7,000-square-foot waterfront mansion, which looks like it was built for a mobster, probably because it was.
After the house's construction, Anthony "Gaspipe" Casso ordered a hit on his architect out of fear that he would one day become an FBI informant. The Turanos paid $995,000 for the Basset Avenue compound in 1995, then started on a renovation that was supposed to cost $565,000 but ended up totaling around $1.4 million. Let's review the highlights of this southeast Brooklyn landmark, where Kruger has long shacked up with Mama Turano?the local community board's manager?and her two middle-age gynecologist sons.
· The aesthetic is "cruise-ship-meets-mob-mansion."
· The front yard includes obelisks, tiled fountains and statues of children, flying birds and diving dolphins.
· After buying the place, the Turanos had to patch holes in the walls put there by evidence-hunting FBI agents. Talk about a fixer-upper!
· There are five terraces.
· The renovation's granite budget alone was $50,000.
· The second floor includes an old-fashioned ice cream parlour.
· There is an arcade room with gumball machines.
· The Turanos seized city-owned waterfront land next to the house and walled it off as a patio, to the outrage of neighbors.
· That patio includes two Samurai sculptures flanked by a multitiered fountain.
Now that's a lifestyle! One that allegedly led Kruger to accept $1 million in bribes since 2006, with much of the money going towards paying off ballooning mortgages. Here's a Google Street View shot of the house's front side. God bless America!