A truly unique Seattle-area home that boasts neighbors like L.A. Fitness and Trader Joe’s is on the verge of being torn down, a sad end to a tale that many likened to a real-life ‘Up.’
Earlier this year, HousingWire wrote about the home of Edith Macefield, who famously turned down $1 million for her home in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle even as a shopping mall was being built around her.
Macefield died in 2008 at the age of 86, but not before refusing to sell her 1,000-square-foot home to developers for $1 million because she didn’t want to leave her home. The developers were forced to alter their plans and build the mixed-use office and retail building around Macefield’s home.
The home later fell in foreclosure, but not before reaching fame in 2009 when Disney used Macefield’s home to promote the move “Up,” which is also about a homeowner refusing to sell.
In the movie, Carl Fredricksen doesn’t want to give up the home he shared with his wife, so he ties balloons to the home and floats away. Disney tied balloons to Macefield’s home in 2009 to celebrate its similarities with the movie.
(Picture courtesy of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer)
After Macefield’s death, she left the home to Barry Martin, who was actually the construction superintendent on the project that surrounded Macefield’s home. The two apparently became very close throughout the construction process, with Martin reportedly looking after Macefield when she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.
Martin sold the house to Reach Returns in 2009, which later fell behind on the mortgage. The home was later foreclosed on, leading to an auction.
According to a report from the New York Times, the winning bidder planned to open a coffee and pastry shop in the space, but backed out after finding that bringing the 115-year-old home up to code would be “prohibitively expensive.”
From the New York Times:
“Bringing new life to Edith Macefield’s house isn’t financially viable,” said Paul Thomas, the broker handling the sale.
Selling the home to someone who wanted to live there would also be difficult since current zoning prohibits residential use without a variance from the city.
Now, after reviewing the available options, the current owners decided that donating Macefield’s home is the best course of action.
Again from the New York Times:
He said the owner will accept proposals for the next 30 days from individuals or groups willing and able to haul the building away, intact — and as is — free of charge. A wrecking crew will come in 90 days later if what Mr. Thomas called a “qualified recipient who is capable of moving the house” is not found.