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PLENSA'S PLAZA PLAN

A GRASSY SQUARE AND A WALL OF WATER

Artist Jaume Plensa wants to place a grassy square at the south end of Fayetteville Street and surround it with a black granite street. A canopy of stainless-steel wires would hang above the square, covered with LED lights that flash messages and colors. Just what they would say is uncertain.

A wall of water would fall from the grid onto the square, and people could pass through it if they chose. A spotlight would shoot one mile upward from the square, joining the city's skyline.

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

The sun had scarcely risen Tuesday before Raleigh's dilettantes started offering thoughts on Jaume Plensa's grand design for downtown.

A few:

* It's neat.

* It's hideous.

* Way to go Raleigh!

* This will make Fayetteville Street a destination for all the world to see!

* Won't the mile-high spotlight attract birds, who will then fly down the beam to their deaths?

* Sounds like a high-tech version of a neon sign that will become a low-tech eyesore in 10 years.

But a project of this scale, costing $2.5 million in private money, needs deeper analysis.

Anyone with an opinion -- expert, amateur or otherwise -- is invited to weigh in with The News & Observer. To share your thoughts, call 829-4818 or send an e-mail message to jshaffer@newsobserver.com.

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