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The Moving Story Behind Seattle’s Famous “Up” House

By Emma Colosia

house balloons

Edith Macefield’s House has become a local landmark after its comparisons to Carl Fredericksen’s from “Up.”

In the middle of Ballard’s neighborhood in Seattle, you can find a small house surrounded by tall buildings, just like the protagonist in Pixar’s 2009 film “Up.” And the story of the house’s owner is eerily similar to the protagonist’s from the movie.

Edith Macefield moved into the Whitewood Cottage in 1952 and lived there until she passed away from cancer, aged 86. She was married four times and outlived all of her husbands and even her only son, who died from spinal meningitis at age 13.

Her name appeared on local headlines for the first time in 2006 after turning down a one-million dollar offer developers had made for her small house. Her home remained standing and she became a local celebrity when they began building a five-story mall known as “Ballard’s Blocks” around her property. 

Edith died in 2008, willing the house to Barry Martin, the “Ballard’s Blocks” construction supervisor. Ironically they had become close friends. The house has been sold several times since, and the current owners say they have no interest in demolishing it any time soon.

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Although Disney began scriptwriting and production of “Up” long before Macefield’s story became known, tourists and locals visit the house and tie balloons to the fence as a little gesture in her honor and memory.

Where: 1438 NW 46th St, Seattle

Featured photo from @nicholetownsleyf