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Spire on Boise building criticized for looking like Mormon temple

BOISE – Owners of a new 18-story building in downtown Boise say they are considering ways to alter the appearance of a spire at the top because of concerns it makes the nearly completed structure look like a Mormon temple.

Tommy Ahlquist, chief operating officer for real estate firm Gardner Co., said that proposed changes include glass surfaces and colored lights.

The mayor’s office has received three complaints about the appearance of the building, and comments on social media have also cited a possible religious influence.

“The number of concerns just began to grow,” Ahlquist said. “I think you gave people a voice to say, ‘Hey, we have some concerns about what this looks like,’ and the religious influence that they felt might have been part of the design. And nothing could be further from the truth for us internally.

“We were just almost shocked initially, but as the week went on, we thought, ‘You know, we need to do something to tone that down.’ ”