The Church of Scientology, whose members include John Travolta, Tom Cruise and Kirstie Alley, apparently wants to make its presence known in downtown Detroit.
Paul Beshouri of Curbed Detroit reports that the church has proposed a number of changes to the vacant, eight-story Standard and Savings Building at Griswold and W. Jefferson in downtown Detroit that it purchased in 2007 for $3.5 million.
Up until now, it doesn't appear it has done much with the building.
At Wednesday's Historic District Commission (HDC) hearing, a representative from Gensler Architects (they handle Scientology remods nationwide, apparently) revealed grand plans to rehab the vacant building, which—from the outside, at least—represents more of a Scientology-themed bedazzling.
The proposed changes:
1. Swap the rooftop Raymond James sign/stock ticker for a giant SCIENTOLOGY sign
2. Install a vertical SCIENTOLOGY sign above the exterior clock
3. Slap a large, vertical cross above the front door
4. Stack a bunch HVAC equipment on the roof
5. Roof deck! And a railing, of course
The commission tabled the matter for a meeting later this month. . . .
The commission was not happy with the plan for several reasons, mostly rooftop stuff. Between the signage, the tall stack of air conditioners roof deck railing, the design could end up looking (at least from some angels) like an ugly new haircut. For a limestone building sculpted by Detroit's Corrado Parducci in 1930, that's not gonna fly.
It's unclear from media reports just what else will be done to the building and what other plans are in the making.
WDIV reports that the church already has an operational building on Midddlebelt Road in Farmington Hills.