Simplot Family Tearing Down Mansion Overlooking Boise 

The former home of the late J.R. Simplot will soon be gone.

click to enlarge The demolition started on Jan. 4. - JESSICA MURRI
  • Jessica Murri
  • The demolition started on Jan. 4.
A Jan. 4 announcement from Simplot's heirs said work already begun to tear down the home and the the destruction would be "complete in approximately 10 days." The house, which has three bedrooms, three-and-a-half bathrooms, a library, two kitchens, and a ballroom, was donated to the State of Idaho in 2004 to be used as the official residence of the governor. Then-Governor Dirk Kempthorne lived in the house but when C.L. "Butch" Otter (who was once married to Simplot's daughter Gay) became governor, he said he preferred to stay in his residence in Star. 

Over the years, there has been plenty of debate over the State of Idaho's upkeep of the house and its 36 acres of hillside, carpeted by Kentucky bluegrass. In the summer of 2013, the State of Idaho ultimately gave the mansion back to the Simplot family (the patriarch died in May 2008). Today the family announced that because the home has been vacant for so long, they "decided that taking the house down is the best option."

The giant U.S. flag has been temporarily removed but will be returned to the site once the demolition of the mansion is complete. The family said it had no immediate plans for the land.
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