The famous Ballard bungalow once owned by Edith Macefield is a symbol of anti-development in Seattle. As a bidding period opens shortly, it may finally relinquish its unlikely holdout against demolition or relocation.
The famous Ballard bungalow once owned by Edith Macefield, a symbol of anti-development in Seattle, might finally relinquish its unlikely holdout against demolition or relocation.
Macefield at one point turned down an offer reportedly more than $750,000 to vacate her house in favor of new development, but after she died in 2008 at age 86, the foreclosed house now wedged between the concrete-and-gray walls of a commercial building near the Ballard Bridge has been in limbo.
An attempt to renovate it into a coffee and pie shop fell apart because bringing the house up to 2012 commercial building code (including retrofitting it for earthquake safety) proved too difficult, said the house’s real estate broker, Paul Thomas.
Thomas said the seller will try to donate it to a nonprofit that can move the home, and then he will sell the land. But if nobody steps forward to relocate the house, it could be destroyed.
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Thomas said he’s “certainly hopeful” that a nonprofit will step forward and move the house, which has balloons tied to its surrounding fence, in celebration of its resemblance to the home in Pixar’s 2009 movie “Up.”
A mother and her 16-year-old daughter backed out of the bid to remake the house into “Edith Pie” after learning of certain city code requirements, Thomas said in a news release. He said other buyers interested in the place also saw the city code obstacles, and came to similar conclusions.
Thomas will soon be accepting bids for a 30-day period to relocate the house through his website, www.NoBSBroker.com.
In a 2006 interview with The Times, Macefield said she wasn’t intending to be a folk hero by refusing to leave her home. She simply wanted to stay in her house.
“I meant it,” she said at the time. “I just want to be left alone.”