A History of the Braley Building

Published : Friday, May 23, 2014 | 5:47 PM

The Braley Building, now home of the Church of Scientology of Pasadena, was originally constructed in 1906 for civic and business leader Edgar Braley. It housed Braley’s bicycle emporium, then with the rising popularity of the automobile, was subsequently transformed into Pasadena’s first electric car dealership.

The design, including the classic Beaux Arts exterior and magnificent galleria, is the work of C.W. Buchanan, one of Pasadena’s most prolific architects.

By the late 1970s the Braley Building, along with the rest of Pasadena’s old town, had succumbed to urban blight and was slated for demolition. A concerted band of citizens joined forces and saved the building—and in so doing, catalyzed the revitalization of the entire historic district.

L. Ron Hubbard founded the Church of Scientology with the vision that all Churches of Scientology become what he termed Ideal Organizations that do not only provide the ideal facilities for Scientologists on their ascent to higher states of spiritual freedom. The organizations should also serve as a home for the entire community and a meeting ground of cooperative effort to uplift people of all denominations.

Since 1980, the Church served a growing congregation in Pasadena and surrounding communities.

As the Church grows, the physical establishment of Scientology also improved. The Church meticulously renovated and preserved its distinctive architecture and elements. Among these are the historic storefront windows; the original tin-formed ceilings; the Craftsman millwork and square columns throughout; and the atrium’s bicycle-inspired stained-glass windows, as well as its iron balusters and original clocks.

All renovations were planned and executed in accordance with the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.

Dedicated as the home of the Church of Scientology in July 2010, the building remains a significant tribute to the past and herald of the future for Pasadena.

The Church was honored for its preservation of Pasadena’s rich architectural history with the city’s Historic Preservation Award. It has always been an important part of the Old Pasadena, which is currently listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of the most cherished and visited destinations in Southern California.

At the same time, the Church remains committed to upholding the rich heritage that has imbued Pasadena with its cultural values and quality of life. They look forward to working together with every individual and group dedicated to achieving our shared dreams of drug-free, crime-free communities and a flourishing future for all generations to come.

The Church of Scientology Pasadena, 35 S. Raymond Avenue, Pasadena, (626) 792-7532 or visit www.scientology-pasadena.org.

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