Seattle home linked to the Disney movie ‘Up’ could be demolished

30 Jun 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Ballard ‘Up’ house may be demolished.

Edith Macefield’s Seattle home, the famous “Up House” surrounded by stores and offices on three sides after the elderly woman refused to sell it to developers, may finally meet the wrecking ball.SEATTLE — Edith Macefield’s tiny house in the old waterfront neighborhood of Ballard — likened by many people to the house in the Disney movie “Up,” in spirit and architecture — will have to be torn down or hauled away, its owner said on Monday. A broker representing the home says it could be knocked down in 90 days unless a nonprofit organization is willing to take it for free and move it, according to the Ballard News Tribune. In a statement Monday, the broker who sold the house at 1438 N.W. 46th St. said the buyer – a mother who hoped to open a pie shop with her teen daughter – has determined the home can’t be rehabilitated in a cost-effective manner, according to seattlepi.com.

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. The house has been called the “Up” house after the Pixar animated film that tells the story of an aging man fighting for his home in a community being overtaken by development. 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.

The screenplay began years before Macefield’s fight to keep her house, though a promotion for the movie at Macefield’s house a year after her 2008 death made many believe the Seattle home inspired the movie. The current owner, an investment management company that obtained the house after a mortgage default, had said this year it hoped a new buyer could be found who would keep Ms. 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 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.

Selling the home to someone who wanted to live there would also be difficult since current zoning prohibits residential use without a variance from the city. But city rules require that the home comply with the current city of Seattle building codes, a task that Paul Thomas, the broker behind the home sale, said was “virtually impossible.” Visitors and tourists have also flocked to the site in recent months as the house’s fate hung in the balance. “After reviewing the situation, the seller has reluctantly concluded that their best option is to donate the house, ideally to a nonprofit, and then sell the land,” Mr.

He said the owner will accept proposals for the next 30 days from individuals or groups willing and able to haul the building away, intact — and as is — free of charge. If a qualified recipient who is capable of moving the house within the following 90 days can’t be identified, the house could face the wrecking ball.

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