Boise’s Low Point To Become Its Highest

Jul 11, 2012

An era ends in Boise Thursday with the groundbreaking of the new Idaho headquarters of Zion’s Bank. The new building goes up in downtown where there’s been a hole for more than a decade.  But the new building will also end an even longer era in the capitol city.

The U.S. Bank building has dominated Boise’s skyline and the state’s record books for 34 years. At 267 feet it’s Idaho’s tallest building.  It’s even taller if you measure it from the bottom of what's been called the Boise hole right across the street, where back hoes rip out the last of the rusted rebar from a failed 2001 project.  In his office next to the hole Tommy Ahlquist, COO of Gardner Company, points to the plans his company has drawn for the new building.

“We’re 270 to the top of the building structure, and then there’s a spire on top," he says.

In 18 months, according to the timeline, Ahlquist’s building will be the tallest in the state by three feet. That’s even though it will have just 18 stories to U.S. Bank’s 19. He says each story has a little more head room than the older building. Plus the top of the Zion’s Bank building will be measured from an aesthetic prominence on one corner that’s several feet taller than the rest of the roof line.