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Local creates petition to save Edith Macefield’s House

Posted by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin on March 27th, 2015


In the wake of the failure of the recent auction, a petition has been created by locals to preserve Edith Macefield’s house.

The petition created on is urging the  Seattle City Council and the Ballard Historical Society to turn the famous home into a museum.

“It’s more than just a house, though. This house is a symbol of defiance,” says petition creator Amanda Allen.

Check out Allen’s message on the petition website below:

In 2006 Edith Macefield turned down US$1 million to sell her home to make way for a commercial development. In my experience, that is unheard of. Why would this elderly woman, who knew she had a limited time on this Earth anyway, turn down so much money just to stay in her home?

It’s because, after her long and adventurous life, she wanted to die at peace in her home. Which she did just two years later, after gaining worldwide notoriety for her refusal to sell and inspiring a movie, and millions of people to “hold on to things that are important to you.”

I hope to see this home turned into a small museum. One that commemorates Edith, and her amazing life.

Edith Macefield was a hero; joining the Service in England after leaving Oregon at far too young an age, then taking care of the orphans of war there to come back here and turn down more money than she’s probably had in her life.

We celebrate and commemorate a lot of silly things. This isn’t one of them.

Over 200 people have signed the petition so far of the 500 that are needed. Click here to sign the petition.

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9 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 hsofia // Mar 27, 2015 at 5:43 pm

    I have to admit, I don’t understand this petition. Does the Seattle Council have the authority to designate a place a museum and keep it from being sold to investors? If so, can they do that to homes of living people who are currently being displaced by various forms of gentrification? I would support that.

  • 2 Benjamin // Mar 27, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    I’m also confused. Previous articles note that she made friends with the developer and agreed he/they should be able to buy it once they passed. And the only reason this got any notoriety was because Disney used it in their marketing campaign for Up.

    The money would be better spent if the current owner (her heirs?) sold it to the developers and used the funds to stop gentrification elsewhere. She was a fine woman I’m sure, but we don’t need a “museum” dedicated to her or this house.

  • 3 Walt // Mar 27, 2015 at 6:01 pm

    “Edith Macefield’s house in Ballard, WA is the historical home that inspired the movie UP.”

    This (at the top of the petition) is incorrect.

    The movie was written in 2004, long before Edith had her 15 minutes.

    This is a dumb idea.

  • 4 Glenn // Mar 27, 2015 at 7:47 pm

    Let Edith’s mistaken protest against the world rest in peace. Let the rest of us, when we’re presented with the opportunity to improve humanity, find a path that will do such a thing.

  • 5 don // Mar 28, 2015 at 10:08 am

    It was not an act of defiance. She was offered money for her house, she said no, that was it.

  • 6 Eric // Mar 28, 2015 at 10:40 am

    The property remains for sale. Based on how the recent auction went, it looks like it could be yours if you can come up with around half a million dollars. People who care that much about saving this little house in the middle of a commercial zone should start a non-profit organization to raise money to buy it. If everyone who signed this petition would put their money where their mouth is and contribute, the average donation required would be under $2,000. That’s how you get stuff like this done, not by sending meaningless petitions into the wind.

  • 7 menomona // Mar 30, 2015 at 12:48 pm

    Is there anything left to preserve? Last time I went by it was nothing but a shell. The guy who bought it for that half baked Credo idea seems to have taken it all and then some.
    Now there’s half a million owed to the bank? Was there a second mortgage taken out? I kinda recall that it didn’t sell for nearly that much and they were doing that fund raiser then too. I hope nobody actually donated any money for their “credo”.

  • 8 Allen Cohen // Apr 12, 2015 at 10:42 am

    Today’s New York Times, 4/12/15. has a front page article on the Macefield house, and the classic front page photograph of the house between the two office buildings. This is a classic, and in my opinion the house should be preserved exactly where it is as a symbol of what our world should be. In Santa Barbara, CA, there was a large shoreline acreage that was once a gardening company, then purchased by developers with the idea of building a retirement community. There was a city wide movement to preserve the land in its natural state. The last amount was donated by Michael Douglas, son of Kirk Douglas, and it is now a preserved land, The Douglas Preserve. There should be a similar movement in Seattle, Washington, and the rest of the country to preserve the Macefield house exactly where it is, and to create a permanent preserve for it.
    Allen Cohen

  • 9 Anon // Apr 22, 2015 at 11:38 am

    This is cool. Where does it say “Edith Macefield’s house in Ballard, WA is the historical home that inspired the movie UP.” ?

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