L. Ron Hubbard House
L. Ron Hubbard House
|Location||1812 19th Street NW Washington, D.C., U.S.|
|Architect||Wood, Donn, & Deming|
|Architectural style||Mediterranean Revival Style|
|Part of||Dupont Circle Historic District (ID78003056)|
|Designated CP||July 21, 1978|
The L. Ron Hubbard House, also known as the Original Founding Church of Scientology, is a writer's house museum and former Scientology church located at 1812 19th Street NW in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C., United States. Public tours are given on a regular basis. The operating Founding Church is now located at 1424 16th Street for services, bookstore and classes. 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 NW was designed by local architectural firm Wood, Donn, & Deming for Arvine W. Johnston 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 NW from July 21, 1955 until 1959. The building later served as the home of the Academy of Scientology, previously located at 1845 R Street NW, and known as The Academy of Religious Arts and Sciences. Additional Scientology organizations once located at the L. Ron Hubbard House include the National Academy of American Psychology (NAAP).
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.
After the Founding Church sold the property in the mid-1970s, it was once again used for residential purposes. 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. The 2014 property value of the L. Ron Hubbard House is $2,004,060. Since October 27, 2003, ownership of the building has been registered to Heritage Properties International, indicated by tax returns to be a front group of the Church of Spiritual Technology.
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