L. Ron Hubbard House
L. Ron Hubbard House
|Location||1812 19th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.|
|Architect||Wood, Donn, & Deming|
|Architectural style||Mediterranean Revival Style|
|Part of||Dupont Circle Historic District (#78003056)|
|Designated CP||July 21, 1978|
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. The home served as the residence of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard from 1955 until 1959, during which time he incorporated the Founding Church of Scientology and performed the first Scientology wedding. The building is a contributing property to the Dupont Circle Historic District, a neighborhood listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The row of buildings located at 1810-1820 19th Street, N.W., was designed by local architectural firm Wood, Donn, & Deming in 1904. Notable owners of the home during the early 20th century included United States Senators James K. Jones and Claude A. Swanson.
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. 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. 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.
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. The seized items were returned to the Founding Church in October 1973. An organization called the Friends of L. Ron Hubbard repurchased the home in 2004.
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.
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.
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