When developers wanted to build a shopping mall over Edith Macefield's house, she refused. What resulted from her anti-corporate stance is beyond inspiring.
A home is more than just a house. It’s a place where memories and remembered experiences cling to the walls, where laughter and grievances are kindly held in forlorn thought, and a sanctuary of sorts that mirrors its owner and the unique life they’ve lived.
And for some people, there will never be a price tag which can match the satisfaction and fulfillment derived from living in a space where so many memories can be recollected. Edith Macefield’s story is testament to that.
In 2006, developers who wanted to build a mall in Seattle, Washington did their best to persuade home owner Edith Macefield to move. But the 84-year-old resident wouldn’t have it, and even refused their million-dollar offer. With nothing left to do, they ended up building their mall around their house.
You have to love such stubborn refusal, as well as the inspiration that resulted from her resistance to corporate development.
In fact, as soon as news of her house hit the internet, her house became a symbol of struggle against the growth of corporatism. The beloved animated film “Up” was even modeled after Macefield’s home, and you remember how inspiring of a movie that was.
According to the New York Times, Edith reportedly blasted opera from her windows as the construction cranes roared, and told stories to visitors about her derring-do during World War II as an undercover agent.
In 2008, Edith – then 86 – passed and left her home to Barry Martin, the construction chief at an adjacent building site who had befriended and helped her through her final days. While the future of the house was unknown (sources indicate it may be headed for demolition), Martin did state that he’d like to turn it into a memorial of some kind.
Her legacy lives on, however, as many Seattle residents fondly remember Edith as an anti-corporate crusader. Below is a video (complete with cheesy music) touring Edith’s now-empty abode:
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