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Elderly woman inspired movie Up after she turned down $1 million for house and forced developers to build around her

Elderly woman inspired movie Up after she turned down $1 million for house and forced developers to build around her

Much like the Disney film, Edith Macefield refused to bow down to developers who had to eventually build a mall around her home.

At some point in our lives, most of us would have wondered what it was like to live in a Disney film.

But it turns out that an 84-year-old woman was actually living the real-life version of Up... well, kind of.

Edith Macefield became a national hero in 2006 when she refused to sell her Seattle farmhouse despite developers making a huge offer. Take a look below:

The elderly Washington resident bought the home back in 1952 for just $3,750 and lived in the home with her mom Alice, according to the Seattle Times.

Despite the house being 108 years old, it wasn’t worth much and property developers were eager to purchase it and eventually bulldoze it, to make room for a new shopping mall.

Initially, they offered Macefield $750,000 and later upped the figure to $1 million.

Even with this life changing sum though, Macefield refused and builders simply had to work around her instead.

Barry Martin was the construction manager who worked on the development, but rather than seeing him as her bitter rival, Macefield ended up befriending him.

Macefield became a national hero for a her defiant act.

She initially asked him to drive her to a beauty appointment, later calling on him for favours like laundry, lifts to the doctors, making her meals and more.

The two became so close that Macefield ended up leaving the house to Martin when she died in 2008.

Sadly, Martin ended up having to sell the property when he found himself out of work during an economic ‘downturn’.

Speaking on Fox’s Strange Inheritance, he said Macefield had given him her blessing to sell before she passed away, explaining: “She told me to hold out until I got my price. I sold it for $310,000.”

He also revealed that his friend hadn’t actually been opposed to the shopping mall, but that she had just wanted to stay put.

The strange home can still be seen on Google Maps.
Google Maps

Martin said: “A lot of people thought she was against the development, but that wasn’t the case at all. It was more a case of she didn’t want to go through the exercise of having to move.”

While the home has widely been reported as the inspiration for Disney’s 2009 film Up - which follows elderly widower Carl Fredricksen who is reluctant to sell his house after developments spring up around it - production of the movie actually began in 2004, before Macefield even refused to sell.

However, Disney did choose to use the house to promote the flick, with Martin recalling: “They wanted to put balloons on the house for their premiere here in Seattle.

Disney even put some balloons on the house to celebrate the release of Up bac in 2009.

"So they came out and put balloons on the house and took a picture, and that’s how it became the Up house.”

He added: “After I saw the movie, there was actually some photographs that look very similar to the picture in the movie.”

As Strange Inheritance host Jamie Colby explained, eventually Edith’s cottage and that of character Carl Fredricksen became ‘associated as one’.

Amazingly, you can still find the house today - still surrounded by buildings - at 1438 NW 46th St.

Featured Image Credit: Fox

Topics: US News, Disney, Film and TV, Money