Detroit's Church of Scientology is getting ready to do... something

After more than a decade of owning the building, the Church of Scientology appears to be close to opening its Detroit location finally.

A construction crew was spotted on Friday erecting an ornate stage outside of the former Standard Savings & Loan, located near Hart Plaza on Jefferson Avenue and Griswold Street. A spokeswoman said the church was getting ready for a private event on Sunday and that it would soon open, although she could not yet offer a firm date.

Also new was a "Scientology" sign perched on the roof. These are some of the first visual signs of activity at the building, which the church purchased for $3.5 million in 2007. Last year, the city issued a permit for the church to begin $8 million in renovations.

For metro Detroit Scientologists, it's "moving on up": The Detroit location is 50,000 square feet, an increase from the church's 15,100-square-foot Farmington Hills building at 28000 Middlebelt Rd. Last year, the church listed that building for sale for  $1.5 million.

The religion was founded in 1954 by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard. It now boasts more than 3 million members, including celebrities like John Travolta and Beck. It has found itself at the center of controversy in recent years due to high-profile defectors like actress Leah Remini, who alleged abuse in a documentary series Scientology and the Aftermath. In a statement, the church says Remini was "expelled" for unethical conduct, including attempted extortion, and denounced the documentary as a "publicity stunt."

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

About The Author

Lee DeVito

Leyland "Lee" DeVito grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, where he read Metro Times religiously due to teenaged-induced boredom. He became a contributing writer for Metro Times in 2009, and Editor in Chief in 2016. In addition to writing, he also supplies occasional illustrations. His writing has been published...
Scroll to read more Metro Detroit News articles
Join the Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state.
Help us keep this coverage going with a one-time donation or an ongoing membership pledge.


Join Detroit Metro Times Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.