Offers Stream in to Rescue the Up House in Seattle from the Wrecking Ball
Edith Macefield's famous old property could be demolished if it's not moved from downtown Seattle
A little house surrounded by giant office buildings in Seattle – whose appearance and history is so much like the house in Up that Disney tied balloons to it to promote the film in 2009 – is in danger of being demolished.
Its longtime owner, Edith Macefield, became a folk hero in 2006 when she turned down an offer of $1 million for the $120,000 property in the Ballard neighborhood from commercial developers who ended up building around her.
Macefield died in 2008, and her estate took control of the home. But it recently went into foreclosure and must be sold within 90 days or torn down, reports seattlepi.com.
The real estate broker, Paul Thomas, who has the listing for the 115-year-old farmhouse at 1438 N.W. 46th St., said Monday that potential buyers – including the winning bidder, a mother who hoped to open a pie shop with her teenage daughter – were unable bring it up to code at a reasonable cost.
Thomas tells PEOPLE the mother-daughter duo “and four other people each ran into so many roadblocks with city regulations, so many red flags and red tape, that they concluded that they just couldn’t make a go of it in any sort of way that … didn’t involve just throwing away huge amount of money.”
But fans of Up and Macefield’s story can rest assured that the house is more likely to be moved than destroyed. “I think the odds of it being torn down are really small,” Thomas says. “I’ve just as of yesterday started to receive proposals from people who are interested in receiving the house as a donation, and then they’ll move it somewhere else.” This solution would remove the house from the confines of Seattle’s many restrictions.
Barry Martin befriended Macefield when he took charge of the construction of the mall around her home, and he became such a fixture in her life that she willed the house to him upon her death. Martin – who penned Under One Roof, a book about his interactions with the octogenarian – believes that as adamant as Macefield was about the house’s survival during her lifetime, she would not care about its potential demolition now.
“To her it was the house, it was a home, but that’s really all it was. She wanted to die there because that’s what she was used to … That’s where her mother died,” Martin explained to PEOPLE. “She said, ’20 years from now, they’ll be tearing this building down to build something new, and that’s just progress’ … She was okay with that.”
People who may want to receive Macefield’s house as a donation and pay to move it should contact the broker on his website. Act fast – interest in the property is, so to speak, ballooning.
Meanwhile, check out a tour of the property below.