Midday Headlines: City Takes Scientology to Blight Court

"We look at that place longingly. We could just knock down the wall and expand the bar."

The Daily News’ Jason Nark reports today that L&I is taking the Church of Scientology to Blight Court for allowing the building it purchased at 1314 Chestnut to sit vacant for more than six years without the installation of so much as even one E-meter.

Rebecca Swanson, a spokeswoman for L&I, said the Church of Scientology has obtained no permits for construction on the property and has been in violation of the city’s “doors-and-windows” ordinance since January for having “multiple boarded windows.”

As a result of the outstanding violation, Swanson said, the city is sending Scientology to Blight Court, a municipal-court hearing that could result in fines of up to $300 per day for each boarded opening.

Naturally, Scientology says the boarded-up window is par for the restoration course and claims it will address the issue soon. No news on when, you know, actual construction might start.

Two other gems hidden in this story: Is Scientology leader David Miscavige as worried about the Phillies’ aging roster as the rest of us?

No work had been done there when the Daily News contacted the church in 2011 for a profile on Miscavige, although spokeswoman Karin Pouw said that interior designs were finished and construction documents were being completed. Miscavige, who still roots for Philly sports teams, would attend a ribbon-cutting if his schedule permitted, Pouw added.

And those guys at Bru are just saying what we’re all thinking.

“We look at that place longingly. We could just knock down the wall and expand the bar,” said Todd O’Connor, a managing partner at the German beer hall Bru next door. “It’s such a blight. It just doesn’t make sense to us.”


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