LONDON (AP) — London's mayor has officially opened a spacious new square in front of London's King's Cross station, known to Harry Potter fans across the world as the home of the fictional Platform 9 ¾.

The tree-studded square, unveiled Thursday, replaces a green metal canopy which had long marred the view of the Victorian railway station.

King's Cross dates back to the 1850s and handles some 47 million passengers annually. In J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter books, student wizards use a secret platform at the station to board the train for Hogwarts school.

The makeover is part of a wider redevelopment of King's Cross and its surroundings. Once known as a seedy red-light district, the area around the station is being turned into upscale apartments and offices, including Google's new London headquarters.

 

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