Seattle’s “UP” House Goes to Auction Friday
Edith Macefield owned a "hold-out" house in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood until she died in 2008. Offered a million dollars for her tiny home, she declined and a five-story commercial building went up on all three sides of her property. Sandwiched between an L.A. Fitness and a Trader Joe's, she earned the love and respect of Seattle for her steadfast commitment to die in her own home.
Because the house is essentially worthless, it has sat boarded up since her death. Seattleites love the house and don't want to see it torn down. At least a dozen people have it tattooed on their arms. When it goes to auction March 13, 2015, anything can happen.
Some in Ballard would like to see it preserved as a "crown" on top of whatever commercial building gets erected on the lot. But that's a tall request of the new owner.
Edith Macefield was a private person, but the construction foreman who built the surrounding building got to know her well. She was the cousin of Benny Goodman and played clarinet. She knew many celebrities and served in the war effort for England in the 1940s. She claimed to have been a spy and was sent to a concentration camp.
Seattle would no doubt like to remember Edith Macefield, but preserving the house may not be in the cards.