New Church of Scientology signs placed on top of former bank building in downtown KC

Kansas City skyline gets a new addition

The Church of Scientology is erecting a new sign atop their building that has been undergoing renovations at 1801 Grand.
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The Church of Scientology is erecting a new sign atop their building that has been undergoing renovations at 1801 Grand.

If you’ve visited downtown Kansas City this week, you might have noticed a new addition to the city skyline.

New signs were placed on top of a former bank building owned by the Church of Scientology of Kansas City at 18th Street and Grand Boulevard.

The local Scientology church bought the property at 1801 Grand Blvd. more than 10 years ago.

Now, the religious organization says, renovations to the 65,751-square-foot building are underway.

In an email to The Star Tuesday night, the Church of Scientology of Kansas City reiterated previous statements that it’s looking to move its local office and congregation from 39th and Main streets to what used to be the City National Bank in downtown Kansas City.

It initially talked of expanding its organization after purchasing the former bank building in 2007. According to a previous report in The Star, Maggie Kittinger, executive director, said the organization was looking to relocate “to find a fitting home for our rapidly expanding Scientology congregation.”

At the time, the Kansas City Scientology organization said it had about 10,000 active members, according to The Star’s report.

The organization, which is based in Los Angeles, was founded by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard in the early 1950s.

“The new premises are needed to accommodate the Church’s expansion and better serve their parishioners and community. Our parishioners are very excited about the new Church and working with our neighbors on social betterment programs,” the Kansas City Church of Scientology said in a statement Tuesday.

“The building is being designed to provide the full services of a Scientology Church and will have a multimedia information center as well as a chapel for Sunday services and community-wide events.”

The organization went on to say that it does not yet have an official opening date.

On Tuesday afternoon, it appeared crews were working on the first floor of the building, which was built in the 1920s and is included on the National Register of Historic Places.

Standing on top of its downtown Kansas City location are unfinished signs facing north and south that appear to say “Church of Scientology.”

It’s unclear when the signs went up.

Since purchasing the property downtown, the organization has remained at its Midtown location at 2 E. 39th St.

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Kaitlyn Schwers covers breaking news and crime at night for The Kansas City Star. Originally from Willard, Mo., she spent nearly three years reporting in Arkansas and Illinois before returning to Missouri and joining The Star in 2017.