If you live in Seattle and get a yearning to walk through the cobbled streets birthed from the magical mind of J.K.Rowling, you’re looking at a 3,000-mile car trip to Orlando’s Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios.
But if you’re lucky enough to be one of Jon Chambers’ neighbors, you can visit one of the most iconic locations anywhere in Harry Potter’s world — without ever leaving town.
Chambers and some of his pals have erected an impressively-scaled slice of Diagon Alley, the Harry Potter universe’s super-secret retail district for wizards in the know, right in the driveway of his Seattle-area home.
A project to sate his 7 and 11 year-old daughters’ (and, we suspect, his own) enthusiasm for all things Harry Potter, Chambers has so far managed to recreate no fewer than six of Diagon Alley’s storefront facades.
Geekwire’s Kurt Schlosser caught up with Chambers and checked out his handiwork firsthand — and, as you can see from the clip, the results are legit.
Chambers and an ever-growing cadre of construction volunteers get the details right. He 3D printed finishing touches like corbels, lanterns, and sign ornaments, and used digital paintings to lend a sense of beguiling depth and realism to each storefront window.
Rowling herself is totally cool with it, which itself is, well, totally cool. Funds raised through donations via Halloween tours and other community events will benefit a charity for victims of pancreatic cancer, so there’re definitely good vibes all around.
A walk through Chambers’ DIY version of Diagon Alley will take you past the storefronts for the Eeylops Owl Emporium, Ollivanders wands, Quality Quidditch Supplies, Magical Menagerie, Flourish and Blotts bookshop, and Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions.
But Chambers told Geekwire the project’s still a work in progress, and finishing everything off with a 20 foot-tall replica of Gringotts Wizarding Bank, if there’s time, would be its “coup de grâce.”
The streetscape will stay up in Chambers’ driveway at least from now through New Year’s. But taking on the world of Harry Potter may turn out only to have been his warm-up lap.
“I’ve thought it would be cool to do a Millennium Falcon,” he told Schlosser. “On the roof.”
May the force be with you, man.