Edith Macefield’s home set to become vacation rental

According to MyNorthwest.com, the internationally known former home of Edith Macefield is set to become a vacation rental. Current owner Lois Mackenzie revealed that news about property that Macefield, then 84, famously refused to sell after developers offered her one million dollars beck in 2006.


After Macefield refused to sell, developers were forced to literally build the Ballard Blocks around the 108-year-old farmhouse that she had lived in since she was a child. Edith sadly passed away in 2008 and since then then her home has been left untouched and unlived in.

The home even made the international list of what are called “nail houses,” or homes where owners refuse to sell, forcing big buildings to rise up around them.

Before she passed away, according to the MyNorthwest.com report, she interestingly formed a unique friendship with superintendent Barry Martin, who was in charge of the Ballard Blocks development. Martin and Macefield reportedly became so close that when she passed away she made him her power of attorney and left all she owned to him, including her home.

Martin checked in on Macefield and would take her to doctor’s appointments and make her meals. He became her care giver and wanted to uphold her wishes of remaining in her home until she passed away. He even wrote a book about their unique friendship called “Under One Roof.”

“All she wanted to do was live the rest of her life in her house and die where she wanted. I thought that was a pretty simple request and I think that everybody should have that opportunity,” Martin told MyNorthwest.com.

Martin later sold the home to Portland architectural designer Mackenzie who named the home Edith’s House at Credo Square. Since then the home has remained vacant.

“We wanted to keep Edith’s house where it was. We decided to clean it up and repair things. Ideally, what we’re trying to do is make Edith’s house a vacation rental or a nightly rental home,” Mackenzie told MyNorthwest.com.

According to the report, the plan is now to do up the home to rent as a vacation or nightly rental. Mackenzie wants to leave Edith’s mark on the home by featuring framed photos and art that commemorates her credo.

Mackenzie has not yet revealed when Edith’s home will be available for rental, but the My Ballard team will be sure to keep readers informed of any new information.

10 thoughts to “Edith Macefield’s home set to become vacation rental”

  1. If this wasn’t so sad it would be hilarious. This guy who wound up with the house is not the hero in the Edith’s life. The real friend and care-giver with a heart was the guy who lived next door to her (another neighborhood) and became like a son to her. He took care of her for years not months. He even drove down from Lake Stevens to do her bidding I can’t remember his name right now, but because of this story I will find his name and number. I don’t even know if he’s aware of the current events regarding the house. I know this because I helped care for Edith while she was angry with this guy, her dear friend and got to know both of them and their great relationship. When she died I was contacted by an attorney about this and told her I’d be glad to tell what I knew in court. I don’t know what transpired that the case was dropped, but I know that the guy who wound up with the house was just the guy who worked on the project surrounding her house, whom she told me she did not like. It seems fishy that he would wind up with the house, instead of her true friend. Her real friend is the guy who she left the cabin to, if you’d like to check into this further.

  2. The never ending saga. Barry somehow managed to write a little book about his relationship with Edith. It’s been sitting on my shelf for months, but I haven’t gotten into it.
    Titled, Under One Roof by Barry Martin and Philip Lerman.

  3. No snark, this is a serious question: why would anyone want to vacation in a house sandwiched between the walls of a shopping plaza that is also under a bridge?

  4. Everything about this story is sad. What Ballard has become including this ugly development is heartbreaking. Her house is beautiful and timeless – I see very little timeless architecture erecting at present. The hulking apartment buildings look like housing projects. Ballard Blocks looks like a monolith.

  5. agreed. Such a sad state of affairs when an elderly resident who really wants to stay is duped by a developer pawn into turning the property over upon her demise.

    When I moved into my property (~ 2000) the next door neighbor had a caretaker for a few years who was bequeathed the house.

    pretty sweet deal!

  6. Vacation rental? Aw, I thought it was going to be turned into some public space. The sign on it said something to that effect, although according to that sign they should have been in phase two right now.

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