Our priorities change once we reach a certain age. While our age advances, money and materials no longer matter as much. We prioritize family, friends, and a happy home.
84-year-old Edith Macefield was offered $1,000,000 to transfer residence so they could demolish her house and build a mall in the area. Without hesitation, Edith said, “No!” She preferred to stay in her 100-year-old home, which was in Ballard, Washington. Most people who heard about Edith’s decision agreed with her and called the move “punk rock” or “rebellious”. Companies can be inconsiderate of residents’ feelings in their pursuit of development to increase profits.
It was unknown if Edith was wary of the people’s agreement with her decision. However, she still loved her life the way she saw fit and never cared what others said or thought.
According to BostWiki reports, at the age of 16, Edith told her mother she was going to college. However, she secretly traveled to England and joined the army. When they discovered that she lied about her age to get accepted, Edith got kicked out. Despite this, she stayed in England and took in war orphans. She also toured with the Royal Army’s marching band. Edith convinced her friends that she was a spy.
In 1952, Edith moved to Ballard, Seattle, Washington.
In 2007, developers reached out to Edith and offered $1,000,000 to sell her home, but she refused to move, which ended in a delay in development. Edith and the developers were caught in a deadlock.
In the end, Edith got to keep her home, and the developers built a massive establishment surrounding her house. Edith’s house was the only property still standing along 46th Street.
The tall buildings that developed the area into a commercial establishment were a contrast from the rural neighborhood by the lake it used to be when Edith moved in. Although the Macefield house did not look similar to the animated house in the Disney Pixar movie “Up”, local news reported that the production attached balloons to Edith’s house to promote the film. Since then, Edith and her home became an icon for anti-development and the “fiercely independent spirit.”
When Edith Macefield passed away in 2008, she bequeathed her property to construction superintendent Barry Martin. Although he decided to sell the house in 2009, it went into foreclosure, and the property did not acquire any bids when it was put up for auction.
The Macefield Music Festival was named after Edith in 2013, in her honor of “holding onto things that are important to you.”
Since the property could not be sold, and nobody placed any bids, developers scheduled to have it demolished. The locals made several attempts to save the house and keep it as a landmark by tying balloons to the house’s fence.
“There are always people rolling by here. They’re very emotionally attached to it,” Steven Raymond told Fox 13 Seattle. “I think it speaks volumes about how fast the city is changing and how people love to hold on to a little bit of magic.”
The community made efforts to raise money to save the Macefield property but to no avail. However, a decade after Edith passed away, the developers announced that they would be keeping the house as part of their development in 2018. Now, Edith’s property and the commercial establishment surrounding her home live in a mutually beneficial co-existing relationship.
“Honestly, I think we’re a lot alike,” a developer once said about Macefield. “I’m stubborn, and so was she. We’ve had some incredible arguments. She was amazingly smart. I think this illustrates Edith’s character.”
The Macefield house never ceases to draw the attention of visitors, as well as the locals of Ballard, where they can shop in the malls and take photos in front of Edith’s house. The landmark has always brought joy and wonder to the community. The property’s magic still exists and has become an icon of freedom and standing your ground.
And it all began when Edith said, “No!”
Screenshot images and YouTube credits: © BostWiki