Religious hall may get rebuilt, says permit

July 11, 2008
By

JOHN RUCH

CENTRAL JP—The Jehovah’s Witnesses house of worship on Chestnut Avenue may be up for rebuilding or other major work, according to a recent building permit issued by the city’s Inspectional Services Department (ISD).

On June 27, ISD issued a permit to “erect [a] house of worship and living space” at 236 Chestnut Ave., the current location of the Jamaica Plain Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Kingdom Hall. It was a permit for as of right work, meaning that no zoning variances are required.

Permits on the ISD web site indicate that the congregation also received permission to demolish the existing structure in 2006. But the structure is still standing.

ISD spokesperson Lisa Timberlake was unable to immediately provide further information about the permitted work and did respond to follow-up phone calls from the Gazette.

No one answered the door at the Kingdom Hall during a Gazette visit this week, and no one answered a Gazette phone call there. “Kingdom Hall” is the religion’s term for its houses of worship.

The local Kingdom Hall is in a residential neighborhood, surrounded by a fenced-in parking lot.