It's true: The Church of Scientology is working to transform the Standard Savings Building—a neoclassical nugget overlooking Hart Plaza—into the organization's first location in downtown Detroit.
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 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. The plan was tabled until a meeting later this month. Interior plans were also mentioned, including the restoration of floors 1 & 2 to their original appearance. That included restoring a "grand staircase" and a long-lost mezzanine.
· Is the Church of Scientology Moving to Downtown Detroit? [Curbed]