Edith Macefield's Ballard house may be demolished

The Ballard home that belonged to Edith Macefield, the woman who refused to sell her property for a $1 million and had a huge commercial building constructed around it, may be demolished, reports.

In a statement Monday, the broker who sold the house at 1438 N.W. 46th St. said the buyer – a mother who hoped to open a pie shop with her teen daughter – has determined the home can’t be rehabilitated in a cost-effective manner, according to

The house has been called the “Up” house after the Pixar animated film that tells the story of an aging man fighting for his home in a community being overtaken by development. The screenplay began years before Macefield’s fight to keep her house, though a promotion for the movie at Macefield’s house a year after her 2008 death made many believe the Seattle home inspired the movie.

Supporters of Macefield's story have often put balloons along the fence since the 2009 release of "Up." The two-bedroom, one-bathroom house was built in 1900 at 1438 N.W. 46th St. – back when Ballard was a separate city.

Some even got tattoos of the house, and the annual Macefield Music Festival began in 2013.

"I went through World War II: the noise doesn't bother me," Macefield told the P-I during the 2007 construction around her house. "They'll get it done someday."

Macefield, whose only child died from meningitis at age 13, left the house to Barry Martin, the superintendent of the construction, who helped her with errands and helped her in the last years of her life. In June 2009, a year after Macefield’s death from pancreatic cancer at age 86, he sold the house for $310,000.

In March, the house went up for auction but no buyer would assume the $300,000 in liens. Those liens were dropped from a new listing, and a broker for the anonymous seller said the home would go to the person who made the best offer.  But the seller also required a buyer to find a way to honor Macefield at the site.

The woman who bought the home in April had hoped to open a coffee and pie shop to be named Edith Pie, according to the P-I. But city rules require that the home comply with the current city of Seattle building codes, a task that Paul Thomas, the broker behind the home sale, said was “virtually impossible.”

The home is currently in foreclosure. Click here to read the story from reporter Levi Pulkkinen.

Comments on this article