Church of Scientology Shares Historic Heritage with Community Through Historic Buildings Tours

Clearwater, FL, April 01, 2017 --( On March 25th over two dozen Tampa Bay residents enjoyed the monthly Historic Buildings Tour of the Fort Harrison, the Church of Scientology’s International religious retreat and Historic Clearwater Building, home of the Scientology Information Center in downtown Clearwater.

The guests gathered at the Fort Harrison and were greeted by Ms. Amber Skjelset, Manager of the Scientology Information Center, where she told them about the history of the landmark.

The tour took the visitors to the Fort Harrison’s 10th floor terrace with its panoramic view of the inter-coastal waterway, a well-appointed parlor suite and award- winning restaurants. The state of the art Auditorium afforded a special treat, where guests caught a sneak peek of the “Sister’s of Soul” rehearsal for that night’s community concert.

“The Fort Harrison was constructed in 1926. It is the city’s most recognizable landmark and a center for its social life – the Fort Harrison has also been a focal point for a variety of activities that have helped shape Clearwater’s history,” said Ms. Skjelset.

This included:

• During World War II it billeted the 588th Army Airborne Squadron
• It was for many years the springtime home for the Philadelphia Phillies baseball team
• The Rolling Stones stayed in the Fort Harrison Penthouse during their first US tour in the 1960s
• Jazz legends such as Count Basie and Harry James performed at the Fort Harrison in the 1970s

“The Church started these tours as we found that people want to see this historic icon and learn about its exciting past and we are happy to share it with our neighbors,” Skjelset said.

Following the Fort Harrison tour, guests went over to the Historic Clearwater Building, now the Scientology Information Center. First built in 1918, the building was home to the Clearwater Bank. Guests appreciated the marble floors, 30 foot ceilings and the kitchenette where the bank vault used to be. They also had a chance to get answers to questions they had about the beliefs and the aims of Scientology, as well as its founder, L. Ron Hubbard.

At the tour’s close, guests thanked the Manager for the tour. One woman summed up the group’s experience stating, “I think these tours are a great idea. They give people the other side from what they hear from the news. My husband and I are from South Tampa and we knew nothing about Clearwater and Scientology until we moved down here. It’s good that you are inviting the community in to see who you are and what you believe.”

The next Historic Buildings Tour will take place on Saturday, April 22nd from 1:30-3:30pm. To participate or for more information, please contact Ms. Skjelset at (727) 467-6966 or

The Church of Scientology:

The Scientology religion was founded by humanitarian and philosopher, L. Ron Hubbard. The first Church of Scientology was formed in the United States in 1954 and has expanded to more than 11,000 churches, missions and affiliated groups in 167 nations. The Church of Scientology regularly engages in humanitarian programs and community events. Clearwater is the home of the spiritual headquarters for the Church of Scientology.

In July 2015, the Church fully restored the historic Clearwater Building and re-opened it as the Scientology Information Center for the community. The Center houses a gallery of audio-visual displays with some 400 videos allowing guests a self-guided tour and showing basic Scientology beliefs, information on L. Ron Hubbard, Churches around the world and ongoing social programs.

For more information please visit
Church of Scientology
Amber Skjelset
(727) 467-6966