Thai Buddhists celebrate approval of new temple

The temple will be fit for a king.

Area Thai Buddhists celebrated the town’s final blessing of their future home last week, smiling for the cameras before a model of the largest sanctuary of its kind outside of Thailand.

The 109,000-square-foot Theravada Buddhist temple and meditation center on South Street East will serve as a religious and cultural center and home to as many as 16 resident monks.

It will be topped with a 185-foot golden steeple.

“What a magnificent structure,” Zoning Appeals Board Chairman Robert Newton said before his board unanimously approved the spire’s height.

The plan fulfills the long-held dream of Boston-area Thai families to honor their monarch, King Rama IX, Bhumibhol Adulyadej, who was born in Cambridge in 1927.

Project advisor Richard Cook, a retired engineer, said the complex of buildings surrounding a courtyard was consistent with the religion and culture of Thailand.

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