L. Ron Hubbard House

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L. Ron Hubbard House
Location 1812 19th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.
Built 1904
Architect Wood, Donn, & Deming
Architectural style Mediterranean Revival Style
Governing body Private
Part of Dupont Circle Historic District (#78003056)
Designated CP July 21, 1978[1]

The L. Ron Hubbard House, also known as the Original Founding Church of Scientology, is a historic house museum and former Scientology church located at 1812 19th Street, N.W., in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C., United States.[2] The home served as the residence of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard from 1955 until 1959,[3] during which time he incorporated the Founding Church of Scientology and performed the first Scientology wedding.[2][4][5] The building is a contributing property to the Dupont Circle Historic District, a neighborhood listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[1]

History[edit]

The row of buildings located at 1810-1820 19th Street, N.W., was designed by local architectural firm Wood, Donn, & Deming in 1904.[6] Notable owners of the home during the early 20th century included United States Senators James K. Jones[7] and Claude A. Swanson.[8]

Hubbard purchased the home in 1955, the same year he organized the Founding Church which met at 1826 R Street, N.W., from July 21, 1955 until 1959.[2][9] The building later served as the home of the Academy of Scientology, previously located at 1845 R Street, N.W.

In 1952, Hubbard lived in a residence in Phoenix, Arizona, also known as the L. Ron Hubbard house by locals. It was here that Hubbard founded Scientology.[10] The Church of Scientology now owns the property, intending to turn it into a museum, but due to protest from neighbors, the residence sits empty.[11]

Raid[edit]

In January 1963, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ordered a raid against the Academy's 19th Street location, seizing more than 100 e-meters (electronic devices used by Scientologists) and 200 pieces of literature. The raid resulted in a lawsuit filed by the FDA against the Founding Church. In 1971, the Church and FDA reached a settlement which included a ruling that all e-meters bear a prominent warning label.[12] The seized items were returned to the Founding Church in October 1973.[13] An organization called the Friends of L. Ron Hubbard repurchased the home in 2004.[2]

Architecture[edit]

Entrance to the L. Ron Hubbard House

The three-story L. Ron Hubbard House is an example of Mediterranean Revival Style architecture, a design frequently used by Waddy Butler Wood and his associates. The building's exterior consists of cream-colored brick, accented with stone and wood trimming. Decorative features include a two-story bay window, red-tiled roof, and Flemish gable.[6]

Current usage[edit]

The museum opened in 2007 following a year-long renovation to restore the building to its 1957 appearance. It contains a recreation of the Hubbard Communications Office and various literature describing Hubbard's early life. A tour of the museum is available by appointment only.[2][14]

The 2013 property value of the L. Ron Hubbard House is $1,824,330. Since October 27, 2003, ownership of the building has been registered to Heritage Properties International.[15]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2008-04-15. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Banville, Jule (2007-09-11). "The L. Ron Hubbard House: Get There Before Travolta". Washington City Paper. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  3. ^ Malko, George (1970). Scientology. Delacorte Press. p. 66. 
  4. ^ Nigosian, Soloman A. (2007). World Religions: A Historical Approach. Macmillan. p. 492. ISBN 0-312-44237-8. 
  5. ^ Larson, Bob (2004). Larson's Book of World Religions and Alternative Spirituality. Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. p. 431. ISBN 0-8423-6417-X. 
  6. ^ a b Null, Druscilla J. (1983-07-07). "Architectural Data Form". Historic American Buildings Survey. National Park Service. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  7. ^ "Buys House in Washington". Washington Post. 1906-07-19. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  8. ^ United States Congress (1912). Official Congressional Directory. United States Government Printing Office. p. 385. 
  9. ^ "News In Brief". Washington Post. 1995-10-28. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  10. ^ http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/jackalope/2010/12/l_ron_hubbards_house_on_44th_s.php
  11. ^ http://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/2009-02-05/news/will-the-l-ron-hubbard-house-turn-a-camelback-neighborhood-into-a-scientology-recruitment-mecca/full/
  12. ^ United States of America v. Founding Church of Scientology, 333 F 1-63 (D.C. 1971).
  13. ^ MacKaye, William R. (1973-10-24). "Church Gets Back Books, E-Meters". Washington Post. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  14. ^ Landers, Chris (2008-04-24). "Serious Business: Anonymous takes on Scientology (and doesn't afraid of anything)". Orlando Weekly. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  15. ^ "DC Citizen Atlas Real Property Reports". Government of the District of Columbia. Retrieved 2013-06-07. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 38°54′52″N 77°02′36″W / 38.914581°N 77.043352°W / 38.914581; -77.043352