It seems like a familiar story: An elderly homeowner defiantly stands up to money-hungry developers who want to tear down her sweet little house.
But that’s not exactly what happened with octogenarian Edith Macefield, said her friend Barry Martin.
Macefield had a simple plan: To live out her life in the Seattle house she knew so well, not in some strange nursing home. She wanted to stay so badly that she reportedly turned down $1 million to move; then, she watched as buildings cropped up all around her humble abode.
“I don’t want to move. I don’t need the money,” Macefield told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer in 2007. “Money doesn’t mean anything.”
Macefield lived in the home until her death in 2008 at the age of 86. Her house, mostly vacant and exposed to the elements since, is now up for sale, with a buyer to be decided this week, said listing agent Paul Thomas. He reported receiving 38 “solid offers” for the 600-square-foot bungalow.
Although the structure will likely have to be bulldozed, the winning bidder will need to somehow memorialize Macefield — an idea that came to Thomas as he was preparing the home for sale. Passersby would stop and tell him about the house and its significance. He mentioned that to the seller, who agreed to include the requirement.
“It became clearly quickly that this is not a normal house,” Thomas said. “This place has a lot of meaning for a lot of people.”
The legend of Edith Macefield has captivated people in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood and beyond. Balloons have been posted all around the house, which bears a striking resemblance to the one in the Pixar movie “Up.”
Pixar representatives have said the animated film’s house wasn’t based on a real one. But people have been calling Macefield’s home the “Up” house since the movie’s 2009 release.
A Ballard music festival was named after Macefield, and a local tattoo parlor has inked a likeness of the home — along with the word “steadfastness” — on a number of people’s bodies.
“Part of what makes people so attracted to this house is feeling so frustrated with seeing one after another after another homeowner selling to developers, and developers bulldozing the houses and the character of the place changing,” Thomas, the listing agent, told The Post.
Martin, Macefield’s friend, said “it’s grown so big and it means so many different things to so many different people.”