PSSST! Know the password? If so, you can join our host, contractor
Nick Mystrom, as we build a hidden room in a home in the Second City.
In the 1920s to "speak easy" meant to whisper and we'll build a
speakeasy in the basement of a suburban Chicago home. But we'll have
to build quietly so as to not alert neighbors and especially not the police,
but that will be a little harder--since two of them live right upstairs! Nick
is in good hands with master builder Frank Sullivan, a Chicago native
who knows millwork from floorboards to rafters. Together with a team
of specialists, this room will become a highly secure 1920s-style
speakeasy. Nick and team have two weeks to create this woodworking
masterpiece in time to surprise recipient Joe Smith, who spent 32 years
as a Chicago police officer, and his wife Daina, also a Chicago cop--both
of whom love the 1920s era.

The program also highlights Prohibition era personalities gambler Arnold
Rothstein, speakeasy hostess Texas Guinan,
and bootlegger George Remus.
Executive Producer: Marc Etkind
Producer: David Rajter
Producer: Fran Calderone
Associate Producer: Angela Victor
Screenwriter: David Rajter
Editor: Scot Kelly
Post Production: Tim Knauff
Production Manager: Michelle Willrich
Clearance Supervisor: Kate Del Core
Researchers: Uldis Balodis, Paul Lacques
Coordinator: Shannon Peiper
Voice Over Coordinator: John Knapp
Music: Guy Thomas
Title Design: Song Design, Inc.


Craig Alton . . . Himself
Joe Bianchini . . . Himself
Mike Byrnes . . . Himself
Al Capone . . . Himself (archival footage)
Bruce Dirks . . . Himself
Texas Guinan . . . Herself (archival footage)
Dave Jemilo . . . Himself
Donald Kennedy . . . Himself
Joe Klingler . . . Himself
Dave Konopka . . . Himself
John LaMonica . . . Himself
Carrie Nation . . . Herself (archival footage)
Anthony Picardi . . . Himself
David Pietrusza . . . Himself
Daina Smith . . . Herself
Joe Smith . . . Himself
Frank Sullivan. . . Himself
Bill Rawski . . . Himself
Franklin D. Roosevelt . . . Himself (archival footage)
Jorge Salas . . . Himself
Dale Shelton. . . . Himself
Bryan Sperry . . . Himself
Fred Sperry . . . Himself

Narrator/Host . . . Nick Mystrom

A production of Actuality Productions,
a subsidiary of Hearst Entertainment, 2005

Available on DVD from The History Channel
The Big Build: The Speakeasy
The History Channel
Original Airdate: November 24, 2005