Allen, You make the false assumption that the steeple is the real issue.
It is not. That is just an excuse for these people expressing their dislike for
the temple. The temple represents a meeting-place of earth and
heaven. The steeple is a central expression of the religious meanings and
symbols in the building. Riverside Church, the tallest church in
America, has a steeple height of 392 feet. St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC is
339 feet tall. The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Concepcion
in DC is 328 feet tall. Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church in Fort Lauderdale,
Florida is 303 feet tall. The National Cathdral in DC in 300 feet tall. The
Washnton Temple at 288 feet is the 8th tallest Church building in the US
according to wikipedia at 288 feet. Probably the most instructive
fact about the Phoenix Temple is that its 126 feet is significantly less than
the 196 feet planned for the Gilber Temple.
One thing I don't understand is why the church is so insistent on having high
steeples on the temples. Many of the protests are centered on the height of the
steeples, and the church could eliminate that cause of protest by designing
lower steeples. I've looked at quite a few pictures of temples and imagined in
my mind what they would look like with shorter steeples, and they look fine. The
early temples didn't have tall steeples. Tall steeples seem to be a concept that
has taken hold among the temple-designers.