• Life-size Diagon Alley built in Seattle dad's driveway gets magical holiday touch

    By: Siemny Kim , KIRO 7 News Staff

    Updated:

    A Ballard father who converted his driveway into Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley is taking it to the next level to truly encapsulate the wizarding world during the holiday.

    Jonathan Chambers, who GeekWire reports is a Seattle tech veteran with time on his hands after stepping away from a recent job, started the project in the fall.

    He got the idea from his daughters, who are huge Harry Potter Fans.

    After lots of trips to Lowes and patience with the 3-D printer, the re-creation of the cobblestoned shopping alley was completed just in time for Halloween and will stay up through Christmas.

    The stunning interpretation of the books and movies was a wicked hit. His children love it.

    Thousands of people visited. His photos and videos of the recreation went viral.

    Chambers recently added Gringotts Bank and Leaky Cauldron playhouses – and and, in theme with the holiday season, he’s set up an event to bring a Dumbledore Santa to town this weekend.

    When guests arrive, they find fake snow dusting the magical alley. Professor McGonagall, Hagrid and Hermione will also make an appearance.

    The display is also an effort is to raise money for PurpleStrides and Pancreatic Cancer Research in honor of friend Matt Bencke who died from pancreatic cancer in mid-October. So far, they’ve submitted $9,000 in donations.

    “My family was really touched by his story,” Chambers explained. “My daughters were confused and upset he passed away and there was no cure for this.”

    He also plans to donate Diagon Alley to Camp Korey in Mount Vernon, which is for families dealing with childhood illness and serious medical conditions.

    “It’s something that is close to me. I have a brother with special needs. So what they are doing up there is close to my heart,” Chambers added. “I'm excited at the opportunity to take this up there and have it live on somewhere.”

    So, after Christmas, what's next for Chambers?

    “Maybe back to the tech world, maybe more of this,” he said.

    One thing's for sure -- he's not done creating something magical. He and his neighbors are already talking about a blockwide theme for next Halloween, but we'll have to see if the force is with them.

     


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