The Real-life ‘UP’ House in Seattle – The Edith Macefield House

Seattle, USA, Washington
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Have you ever watched Disney’s “UP”? If so, you will recognize the similarities between the Disney movie and the story of this small house in Ballard, Seattle. 

There is a small house in Ballard, near the Ballard Bridge, which is completely surrounded by the gigantic walls of a shopping center. This house belonged to Edith Macefield, who wouldn’t sell the house to the developers building the Ballard Blocks shopping center. She got offered as much as $1 Million Dollar, but Edith stood her ground and didn’t sell. The house is over 100 years old and one of the world’s most famous “Nail Houses”. In China, a house is called “Nail House” whose residents refuse to leave in order to make way for new construction. Developers often have to build around the house.

Edith Macefield died in 2008 and she left the house to the person who built the new shopping center around her. The house changed owners a couple of times. Its fate is still unclear. There was even a Kickstarter campaign to move the house to one of the San Juan Islands and restore it to its old glory. The plan was a flop and did never happen. As of today, the house sits still between the gigantic walls of the Ballard Blocks shopping center. A tall chain-link fence stops people from entering the house and trespassing but also ruins many photo opportunities. The house is covered with plywood sheets all the way around. It’s far from what it used to look like when Edith Macfield lived in the house and kept it all tidy.

Disney Pixar featured the house in a promotion for its UP movie. For a long time, the fence was carrying dozens of balloons, some of them with wishes and greetings for the house. During my visit in August of 2020, there were only a few ballons on the fence. Most of the time you can’t even see the house with all the parked delivery trucks along the street. After the development of Ballard Blocks 2, which is right across the street from the Edith Macefield house, the view of the hose from the Ballard Bridge is now gone as well. It’s hardly noticeable these days especially if you are just driving down the street.

Tourists from all over the world used to come here and take selfies. I have been in the area a lot in the last few months and I barely ever saw anyone even looking at the house. If you are not from the neighborhood, you probably don’t know the story behind the house and assume it’s just an old house sitting there to rot.

Edith Macefield House

If you are a Disney fan, you should pay the house a visit. Bring one or a couple of ballons and tie them to the fence. Share your photos with others and carry on the story of the house.

There is a dedicated Facebook Page about the Edith Macefield House.

Up House Replica

If you want to see a replica of the house in Disney Pixar’s movie UP, then you have to travel to Herriman in Utah. Herriman is just a short drive south of Salt Lake City.

Real-Life Up House
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