A corner of a muggle neighborhood has been utterly transformed into a life-size replica of a world-famous street: Diagon Alley.
As the London center of the wizarding world, Diagon Alley is best known for its dazzling array of magical shops, from Eeylops Owl Emporium to Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions and Quality Quidditch Supplies. So although Seattle resident and project mastermind Jon Chambers may be a Muggle, he decided to bring the fantastical place to life in his very own driveway in his Ballard neighborhood, for the joy of his daughters — and visitors. (So far, they have had more than 2,600 stop through, as Chambers shared on social media.)
“I’ve always wanted to do something massive for Halloween or Christmas,” Chambers told GeekWire earlier last week while still constructing the alley, which took about two weeks and a few thousand dollars to put together. “I was born the day before Halloween, and October is like my power month. So I decided to quit my job and focus on this crazy thing.”
From an entrance that recalls the moving bricks behind the Leaky Cauldron pub — as seen in the Harry Potter movies — to six faithfully-recreated storefronts painted in vivid hues, this Diagon Alley has earned its fair share of praise; J.K. Rowling herself even “liked” a tweet about it. Chambers, who was formerly a creative director in tech and has worked in construction, seems perfectly poised to make the magic happen. As a long-time Potter fan with two daughters aged 7 and 11, he had an eager audience. He even had a 3D printer at home to craft unique touches like street lanterns and store signs. And his neighborhood chipped in, volunteering time and supplies to make their very own Diagon Alley a reality.
The Alley will be open to visitors through New Year’s, and donations are being shared with a cancer charity.