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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

She Said She Didn’t Need a Bigger Home

posted by on June 17 at 12:38 PM

And she was right. A year after Edith Macefield rejected a developer’s offer to buy her house, Seattle’s most tenacious homeowner is dead.

Writes MyBallard.

Edith Macefield has passed away of natural causes, according to the King County Medical Examiner’s office. My Ballard has received a few emails in the last couple of weeks saying that ambulances have been seen coming and going from her home. She was 86 years old.

Edith lived in the same house on NW 46th St. for the last 56 years. She made national news in 2006 when she refused to sell her home for $1 million to developers. Construction crews then proceeded to build the development around her.


I know I’m always chanting and ranting about the need for density, but every time I think about Macefield’s house surrounded by that humongous building, it makes me damn proud of her. Check out this excellent passage:

Inside, the place is clean and organized. Pictures of herself as a girl, posing with her mother and brother at Alki Beach, stand on bookcases. There are framed pictures of opera singer Enrico Caruso and composer Giacomo Puccini on one wall. A collection of glass animal figurines are lined up along every windowsill and sash. A bookcase is neatly stacked with old movies on video.

She has no regrets about refusing to sell her house. She said she doesn’t mind the noise at the construction site. She turns the television up, or plays her opera so loud you can hear it outside.

“I went through World War II, the noise doesn’t bother me,” she said. “They’ll get it done someday.

Macefield’s house shouldn’t be torn down—it should be preserved as a historic landmark of this building boom, a homage to tenacity and stubbornness. Happy travels, Edith Macefield.

RSS icon Comments


Wow. She was an awesome lady! Thanks for the story.

Posted by Gloria | June 17, 2008 12:44 PM

It's nice and sweet that people think what Edith did was nice and sweet but she no doubtedly halted and cost a construction crew millions of dollars by refusing to sell.

She was offered a lot of money to leave because the engineers and consultants that put time and effort in creating that stucture needed her land to created a relatively cheap and safe structure.

Because of her stubborn attitude, those same engineers had to alter a safe design to accomodate someone that died a year later - that's nothing to be proud of - it's irresponsible sentimentality that halted the design and production of a building that was going to house MANY more people and their families.

Posted by darek | June 17, 2008 12:47 PM

Wow, okay, good to know that each of us has the individual responsibility to bow to whatever people want to do with our possessions. Thanks for the clarification, darek.

Plus, I mean, SAFETY! It's for the children!

Posted by leek | June 17, 2008 12:56 PM

@ 2) The pendulum swings both ways when it comes to property rights. Neighbors need to un-bunch their panties when somebody wants to develop their lot, and developers need to suck it up if someone doesn't want to sell their lot. There's no obligation to sell the stuff you love. And if safety was such a concern, the developers could/should/would have waited.

Posted by Dominic Holden | June 17, 2008 12:57 PM

@2 You're a jackass. It was HER HOME and she can do whatever she wants with it. Including, ya know, living there for the rest of her life.

Which she did. Good for her.

Posted by heywhatsit | June 17, 2008 12:58 PM

How long before it's torn down? A week? Maybe two?

Posted by Lloyd Cooney | June 17, 2008 1:00 PM

@2: No. This old lady forced their hand. It's her dead fault if the building collapses on the heads of young, crying children.

Posted by Gloria | June 17, 2008 1:01 PM

It's not too far from the ideas @2 to Soviet-style communism.

Density is good.  Affordable urban housing is good.  The idea that a private property owner is obligated to surrender her home because a private developer has plans for the land--very, very bad.

(Perhaps worse--the idea that offering a pile of money for the land negates any possible objection.)

Posted by lostboy | June 17, 2008 1:04 PM

YAY for private property rights for some -- if we like them!

Down with private property rights for others -- if we don't like them!

Posted by PC | June 17, 2008 1:05 PM

@3 - it's not pressure when you're offered 1 friggin million dollars for your house. All her pictures, all her furniture, all her possesions would've been in her new house, wherever she chose that to be and the construction company could've stuck to their original design and could've saved MILLIONS of dollars.

@4 - " the developers could/should/would have waited." clearly they couldn't because a) it costs roughly $30,000-$100,000 a month (depending on the size of the project) to halt construction and based on the fact that she was offered a cool mil for her home, i'm assuming the costs in halting in the project are much, much more than that.

b) they built around her house - meaning time constraint, meaning they've already lost too money in waiting for Edith to either kick the bucket (had they waited the year they would've been out a few million dollars and facing charges of liability because the project was not completed on time and within budget) or accept their more than fair offer of 1 million dollars

Think about about the scale of this project, if the contractor is offering 1 MILLION dollars to get out for what? a thousand square feet?

It's irresponsible. And costly.

Posted by darek | June 17, 2008 1:07 PM

what an old fool - may she rest in piece in her old/new home - horrid bed, bad kitchen, leaking toilet and all that she clung to

many times people like her are full of spite and dementia

Posted by Barnes | June 17, 2008 1:08 PM

@2 No, it was not "irresponsible sentimentality." It was someone exercising their property rights. She owns the house and the land, she can do with it what she wants. If she didn't feel that the developer's offer was compelling enough to move, that's her prerogative. Love it or hate it, that's how our system works - if you don't think the offer is good enough, you have the right to reject it. If no offer would ever be good enough, well, tough shit if you're the developer. Obviously they sucked it up and moved on.

And design delays can occur for any number of reasons. How many times have a developer's "stubborn attitude" or a city agency's "stubborn attitude" about one thing or another caused a delay or need for redesign? Redesigns are frustrating for a design team, I know, but they happen and you move on. Still no excuse to take your shit out on a dead old lady.

Are you perhaps a disgruntled architect/engineer/developer who worked on this project? You sure as hell sound like it.

Posted by Hernandez | June 17, 2008 1:08 PM

I love this kind of stuff!

And seriously, where are all the "it's the owners' property, buzz off" people when a new condo is going up and it looks kinda generic?

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 17, 2008 1:10 PM

@10: The pressure comes from people who make comments like yours. I'm sure she heard many of them during that year before her death.

Posted by Gloria | June 17, 2008 1:13 PM

Don't engineers get paid to make safe designs? So an altered design should be no less safe because they had to change it. That piece of land wasn't theirs to make a 'safe design' for in the first place.

But since they've had to alter their design once already to "accomodate her", it would be an even greater travesty if they were to consider further altering their plans to accomodate themselves by tearing down her home now that she's gone.

Personally, I hope that she has someone over her estate, willing to ensure that doesn't happen.

Posted by schnoodle | June 17, 2008 1:15 PM

"Because of her stubborn attitude, those same engineers had to alter a safe design" ...What in God's holy name are you blathering about?

Posted by Porkchop Sandwiches! | June 17, 2008 1:16 PM

PC @9 is just slightly off:

Yay for private property rights (and rights in general) when they cause no unreasonable harm!

Down with (perceived) private property rights (and claimed privileges in general) when their cost to neighbors or society grossly outweighs their benefit!

Posted by lostboy | June 17, 2008 1:16 PM

@5 - and what of the temporary workers that could no longer work on the site because some old bag refused to accept a gracious offer? what of those that had to jobs at lower income because they HAD to and couldn't start working on this project when they were told they would be?

she's not just hurting a "big bad corporation" she's affecting men and women that need that work to i dunno, buy food and clothes for themselves.

If her house were declared a landmark, that's an entirely different and municipal issue. No contractor would try to build near the area. But when ONE person halts construction and jobs and helping the economy THROUGH jobs, she's not a hero in my book.

It's nice that she stuck to her principles and I'm not saying that little old ladies should bow down when they are given a bad deal - but she was offered 1 MILLION FREAKIN DOLLARS for a home that will now most likely be torn down.

@7 - Who said I was boo-hooing for the safety of children. I dont even like kids, who cares if they die. But a simple rectangle is much easier to design than a rectangle with a kink in it. I'm sure the engineers that had to re-design this did a fine job and if they didn't , it wouldn't be built but the additional costs to this project are unwarranted and not needed. Let's smarten up please.

Posted by darek | June 17, 2008 1:16 PM

@10, she didn't owe anything to these developers or to society. She OWNED that house, it was hers to do with as she pleased, and that's exactly what she did. It's not her responsibility to think of the rich little children whose parents could afford to live in the condos they are building. Believe me, no one is going homeless over this building being delayed. You might understand this someday when you've lived your life and all you want to do is die in the house you called home for 56 years.
This is what happens when people (developers) think anything can be bought, shame on them for having that kind of arrogance.

Posted by D | June 17, 2008 1:20 PM

@13 Uh, B.A., it's possible to be critical of bad design while still respecting a property owner's basic right to build generic-looking condos on their property if they so choose.

Posted by Hernandez | June 17, 2008 1:23 PM

Ha-ha. Darek, you got your ass stomped by an 86-year-old. Even if the house is torn down next week, that commercial development will always have an indentation in its southern face, a tribute to one woman's divine right to finish our her days in her own goddamn house. Edith Macefield, rest her soul, has reached up from the grave to dope-slap one final idiot.

Posted by Gully Foyle | June 17, 2008 1:28 PM

@2 The building isn't going to be filled with "affordable housing". Instead it will be a Trader Joe's. She wasn't standing in the way of progress. She didn't need a million dollars - whether she lived or, as it turns out, died. All she wanted was to live in her house - and she had no reason to give it up for the "greater good" of another Trader Joe's.

Posted by Devo | June 17, 2008 1:28 PM

hernandez, you know that a lot of those outraged people arent just critical; they want to ban those buildings from being designed in that way. or from being torn down. etc etc. Everyone can complain but what we do with those complaints varies.

darek, ultimately the cost of leaving her home was more than the monetary compensation. are you really suggesting a legal remedy to the issue of some people being unable to be bought off?

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 17, 2008 1:28 PM

Ha-ha. Darek, you got your ass stomped by an 86-year-old. Even if the house is torn down next week, that commercial development will always have an indentation in its southern face, a tribute to one woman's divine right to finish out her days in her own goddamn house. Edith Macefield, rest her soul, has reached up from the grave to dope-slap one final idiot.

Posted by Gully Foyle | June 17, 2008 1:28 PM

I REALLY doubt that they had everything all set to go...workers lined up, ready to start that day! When, oopsie! OMG, we totally forgot about that house there. What, she hasn't taken our money yet? Oh, sorry guys, you will have to go home now. Nevermind. We are stopping everything today! To redesign the whole thing!
They don't schedule these poor workers who according to you, can barely feed their families, until the project has been given the green light.

Posted by D | June 17, 2008 1:29 PM

@12 - No I'm not an engineer that has worked on this project. But I am an engineer that has worked on various projects that have been halted because of "property owner's rights" - like a man that halted the design process of a freeway in Canada because of his strawberry farm - his goddamn strawberry farm - where he was offered 7 million and wouldn't take it. Luckily it's a government job, so he'll be forced to move and given the amount his land is appraised for (less than the 7 million) but that's the main different becasue public and private developers.

It's sweet that you think it's as simple as "tough shit" scenario - but her actions didn't just "disgruntle" a bunch of people, it harmed them by costs, jobs, job security, etc, etc.

I am well aware that re-designs occur all the time, primarily for safety and future projects. But when it's sentimentality that's holding up a project and not a fear of the public's safety (which engineers hold paramount - my kid's dying remark was in jest, relax people) it's infuriating when the public supports stupidity.

@14 - And I hope she did.

Posted by darek | June 17, 2008 1:30 PM

Based on its recognizability and the fact that its the last structure representative of its immediate vicinity, I suggest that Macefield's house be considered an istoric landmark.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | June 17, 2008 1:31 PM

@2, This complex did not contain any housing units. It is a retail center with big box stores such as Trader Joe's.

Posted by sam_iv | June 17, 2008 1:32 PM

sigh...if only Ayn Rand were around to make sense of all this.

Posted by michael strangeways | June 17, 2008 1:33 PM

Hernandez @20, stop trying to change the rules. To comment on a person or group, you must endorse them wholeheartedly no matter what they do, or else condemn their every action and position.

It's not fair to expect people like PC or BA to deal with non-binary or multi-dimensional issues.

Posted by lostboy | June 17, 2008 1:33 PM

Oh no the company is losing MILLIONS of dollars.
They never even considered that somebody might refuse to give up their home? If they never planned for such a situation than it is they who are irresponsible and the millions lost is deserved.

Posted by the Uke | June 17, 2008 1:36 PM

Darek: If the developer doesn't like it they can halt the project and take it somewhere else. Your posts represent everything that's wrong with developers and the ideology of endless growth and profit that drives them. Ooh no, won't someone think of the poor capitalists, investors and developers! I love how you "care" about the quality of life of future yuppies, but some old lady needs to move her ass. Do the world a favor and put a bullet in your head.

Posted by Jay | June 17, 2008 1:38 PM

Years from now, everyone will know as they walk by why that building has that space in the south part of that structure. Macefield needs to have the street named after her. She is a hero and a fighter. If we had more people like her we would not have nearly the problems we have today.

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | June 17, 2008 1:39 PM

lostboy, all i want is a little consistency in approach to issues instead of worming our ways through them. Or at least being more transparent in the actual motivations you have for supporting one side of the issue.

it is totally disingenuous to cheer "property rights" in this instance only to condemn them in the matter of condo development. especially when the motivation in both cases isn't about property rights but in stopping development period.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 17, 2008 1:39 PM

If anything, that little house in the middle of a large complex gives the large complex character. People see the ridiculous contrast and know there is a story there. The developer should buy the house, restore it, and rent it out or, yes, turn it into a museum. Embrace the novelty of the situation. That would be good business.

Posted by Bub | June 17, 2008 1:39 PM

Darek is a douche-- he has no right to force someone to sell their shit because he thinks they don't have a good reason not to.

But all the anti-Darek stuff is missing the point too. Yeah so people shouldn't be forced to sell their property to developers who want to gentrify it in the name of "density." But what exactly do you think our reliance upon property taxes instead of an income tax, combined with the rising demand for housing in Seattle, is doing? The government's regressive tax system has the effect of forcing people on fixed incomes who bought their houses before the real estate market exploded to give up their homes to make way for "progress." It happens all the time. It's just that people think that process is somehow more natural than when douche developers try to just buy you out directly.

Posted by wf | June 17, 2008 1:41 PM

wf, we could be more like california in tax collection...


Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 17, 2008 1:47 PM

Bellevue Ave: The basic rule in our society is "be at least kind of nice." Laws aren't made to support "property rights" or "capitalism" or "socialism." Laws are made to discourage mean things, and encourage nice things.

Kicking out an old lady from her house a year before she dies: mean
Tearing down a historic landmark to build a Taco Bell/Pizza Hut: mean
Building a 40 foot tall brick wall to block the sun: mean

Letting an old lady spend her last days in her house of 56 years: nice
Putting retail on the ground floor of your 6 story building: nice
Making sure your building isn't offensively ugly: nice

Posted by lawyer | June 17, 2008 1:49 PM

@26 And I insist that it's all part of the risk inherent in the industry. You have every right to be frustrated, and I have no doubt that some folks (subcontractors, etc.) got screwed on this job, but seriously, Tough Shit.

There will always be the risk that your project will get pre-empted or delayed because some old lady or strawberry farmer decides to exercise their property rights and reject a developer's offer that most of us would consider eminently reasonable. At some point we all have to accept that risk or go insane, because it's not going to change and it shouldn't.

Posted by Hernandez | June 17, 2008 1:49 PM

Bellevue Ave @34:

it is totally disingenuous to cheer "property rights" in this instance only to condemn them in the matter of condo development. especially when the motivation in both cases isn't about property rights but in stopping development period.

I suppose it would be, given that motivation.  BA, can you point to anyone here who has actually demonstrated this alleged hypocrisy?

Remember, the position described by Hernandez @20 doesn't count.

Posted by lostboy | June 17, 2008 1:53 PM

@38, does this mean law interpretation is based on what one consider mean and nice?


Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 17, 2008 1:54 PM

Save the house. Turn it into a gay bathhouse. ...Alas, it will probably be converted to another coffee shop. ...Of course, her will probably prohibits doing anything to it. So, the contractors will drop a wrecking ball on it. Oops.

Posted by Gay Bathhouse | June 17, 2008 1:56 PM

sam iv @ 28:

A store in a BIG BOX surrounded by surface parking is a "big box" store - Walmart, Costco. Trader Joes is generally NOT a "big box" store.

Trader Joes is small and specialized. It can fit into a ground floor retail space below housing. This is EXACTLY the way we want groceries to be - neighborhood scaled & contextual, within walking distance of a dense population.

Get your terminology straight.

Posted by max solomon | June 17, 2008 1:57 PM

Bellevue Ave @41:

@38, does this mean law interpretation is based on what one consider mean and nice?

Law creation, not law interpretation.

And basically, yes.

Posted by lostboy | June 17, 2008 2:00 PM

lostboy, i can't point to it in this thread except for possibly jay, but I'd have to go back a few weeks, months to point out people that have chided me for championing property rights and invoked "social contract" as being the more important concept to honor.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 17, 2008 2:00 PM

@21 - not until a Popeye's or McDonalds is squeezed in there.

Forigve my Canadian ignorance everyone - but I have no idea what a Trader Joe's is. So excuse my comments about the building being housing units. It looked like the skeletal structure of a condominium.

@25 - Actually they sorta do. Once a date is given for construction ie "pending the acquistion of this parcel, you'll be slated to work on such and such a date". So a bunch of workers were set up and ready to go and then had to find work elsewhere (which is not so easy as certain contractors do not treat their workers as they should!) when the job came to a halt and was thrown back for a full re-design.

I never said that construction workers can barely feed their families - I have friends that work for contractors, believe me, I know they are paid well. But the income needs to be stable - abruptions like this can mean missed mortgage payments and just utter hell for workers that have been slated to work on "such and such a date".

Posted by darek | June 17, 2008 2:02 PM


And you thought I was harsh to the dead ...

I stand back, in amazement.

Way to go, tough guys!

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 17, 2008 2:04 PM

yay more empty ugly overpriced condos!!!!!!

RIP Macefield, I wish we had more of your type still around.

Posted by bobcat | June 17, 2008 2:06 PM

Darek, you won't win. And acting like a whiny entitled jerk isn't helping.

Posted by Abby | June 17, 2008 2:09 PM

such a simplistic view of law creating yields wacky interpretations of what is nice and what isn't.

banning gay marriage; nice
banning abortion; nice

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 17, 2008 2:10 PM

BA @45, were people really arguing for the elimination of developer property rights?

And were those same people elsewhere cheering sympathetic individuals exercising those same rights?

And even if so, do you have any support for painting commenters in this thread with that brush?

From you own description, I have to wonder if people weren't really arguing about the balance of individual rights and the social contract--the different cases in which one outweighs the other--and about what a responsible developer should do (as opposed to be forced to do).

Posted by lostboy | June 17, 2008 2:11 PM

@49 - win what? And whose whining, what's done is done. It was incredibly stupid and cost far more than needed but it's done. I'm 3000 miles away lady, what exactly am I trying to win?

Posted by darek | June 17, 2008 2:12 PM

It's interesting to see the comments about how great the deceased was. In reality, I doubt whether any of you actually knew her. She might have been the best person to live in these parts or the worst. We don't know. It may be that she was full of hate (homophobic, racist, a Republican, or whatever it is that may turn off Sloggers).

Posted by you don't know | June 17, 2008 2:16 PM

Bless her damn stubborn heart.

Posted by kerri harrop | June 17, 2008 2:17 PM

@32 - it's a good thing i dont work for a developer then. And a bullet in my head eh? Wow, I hope a Wal-mart falls on you.

I may have overreacted because I thought she halted the construction of a condo or affordable housing. Since it's only a store, I can at the very least, see why she became so stubborn. As an engineer, i feel for the contractor in this case. The halting of the project cost the project a lot more than it should've and caused a lot of hard working people to look for work elsewhere (when it was readily available). But these are concerns for working the private sector - a sector we've ALL taken advantage of and used. I wonder how many of you will use that Trader Joe's once it's done and how many of you will "honor" the lady's memory by never shopping there.

Prove me wrong kiddies, prove me wrong.

Posted by darek | June 17, 2008 2:21 PM

@46 - And those same people, those same construction workers know that every single big project like this, without a doubt, generally has delays. That is the way it works in construction, their chosen field. And most people I know who work in construction, are responsible. They have money set aside for these very instances because they know this kind of thing happens, especially a project of this size. All I'm saying...on this 1 point of yours, is that your argument is weak.
And shame on YOU for thinking everything and everyone has/should have a price. You made your feelings quite clear in your post about the strawberry farm. For some people, it's not all about money.

Posted by D | June 17, 2008 2:22 PM

@53 - I might have known her. I used to live in Ballard just north of her, and had been to many community events and senior events as well.

Regardless, every day in every way we turn more into Soviet America more and more, @53.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 17, 2008 2:27 PM

Hey, Darek, why don't you explain to us what the fuck these poor engineers were doing designing a building on property THEY DON'T OWN? You're exhibiting Will in Seattle levels of arrogance and stupidity here. If you want her land, buy it from her. If she doesn't want to sell it to you, TOUGH TITTY. You can't just have stuff that belongs to other people because you want it.

There would have been no delays if the developer had concentrated on designing for the property he owned rather than the property he wished he owned.

Posted by Fnarf | June 17, 2008 2:29 PM

Bellevue Ave @50:

such a simplistic view of law creating yields wacky interpretations of what is nice and what isn't.

banning gay marriage; nice

banning abortion; nice

No.  Politics yields wacky interpretations of what is nice when mean people try to disguise their intentions.

Equality for same-sex couples - nice

Letting women and couples have control of their own lives - nice

Keeping women and the gays down - not nice

When we base our laws on basic fairness, things work well.  When we twist the discussion and tilt the scales too far to one extreme (anti-gay marriage amendments, or the DMCA), then things get fucked up.

It gets very complicated in practice, but the rule of law is fundamentally about ensuring the basic fairness of society.  And fairness is largely a matter of all of us being nice to each other.

Posted by lostboy | June 17, 2008 2:30 PM

OH...Darek is CANADIAN!

That explains EVERYTHING!

Canadians HATE stubborn, old ladies who halt progress.

And their tires have square wheels.

Posted by michael strangeways | June 17, 2008 2:30 PM

Yea, I just asked myself: Why are you even bothering to argue with the Canadian? We all know they are pointless.
I feel better now.

Posted by D | June 17, 2008 2:36 PM

Darek @55:

I wonder how many of you will use that Trader Joe's once it's done and how many of you will "honor" the lady's memory by never shopping there.

I'll shop at that Trader Joe's.  Why wouldn't I?

Oh, right, because of the rules (@30).

Posted by lostboy | June 17, 2008 2:38 PM


some were proposing the limits of development to conform with some idea of what they think seattle should be like.

the situations all involved parcels of land being bought by condo developers and being built into generic condos.

maybe I am being unfair in how i paint some people in this thread, but it's better to get it out in the open now.

people werent arguing about the "balance". they were telling me to take my property right ideals and shove em, the will of the people trumps all.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 17, 2008 2:40 PM

RE: darek

As I started reading darek's comments my first thought was that he was an engineer or a contractor. Well, wow-wow-wee-wow, he is! Your overstating the financial hit and concern for the contractor is very telling.

Anyway, darek, as a developer, let me say that we don't give a rat's ass about the contractors. (As long as they aren't ripping us off more than we know.) We'll halt construction and pay the carrying costs if it means we save a penny. This woman saving her home doesn't mean a damn thing.

Posted by Hey wait (developer here) | June 17, 2008 2:48 PM

darek, you come off as someone who snarks for canada. you're not changing anyone's mind.

hernandez and dominic, i love you. let's cha cha at the next slog happy hour.

Posted by scary tyler moore | June 17, 2008 2:52 PM

I know I'm late to the Darek-bashing party, but I have to respond to this: "it's not pressure when you're offered 1 friggin million dollars for your house." Actually, pressure is EXACTLY what it is when a developer dangles an overblown offer in front of your face, and by saying no you become the bad guy just for wanting to keep what you own.

The responsibility for having to adjust the architecture of the building lies with the builder for making grand plans involving land that was owned by someone else, and I guess the DCLU for allowing projects to get through the permitting process before all land has been secured. Private developers don't get to condemn other private property - not yet, anyway. Sheesh.

Posted by genevieve | June 17, 2008 2:58 PM

I wonder who she left it to?

Posted by monkey | June 17, 2008 3:01 PM

Trader Joe's? I thought it was going to be an expansion of Mars Hill.

Posted by Tiktok | June 17, 2008 3:07 PM

Actually it's an LA Fitness. There may be a Trader Joe's Hidden in the building somewhere but LA Fitness is the achor tennant. Even more ironic is that the project was mothballed mid stream for some reason. I can't remember if it was a design problem or if it was economic.

Posted by wl | June 17, 2008 3:31 PM

The project was never halted. The developers attempted to negotiate a purchase of all the parcels they want/need for a project - just like they do on each and every project. They were not able to obtain that particular parcel - so they designed around it.

I don't understand this ridiculous idea that the project was held up by an unwilling seller. Maybe.... maybe not. But it is just one of hundreds of variable the developer included in their cost and schedule calculations.

In the end, Edith Macefield did the right thing for herself - and the developer did the right thing for her/himself. It's called capitalism and private property rights. Argue against them if you want - but its how things work at the moment in the US (and Canada!)

The only thing that came of this is that Edith Macefield got to go to her death knowing that she stood up for what she wanted and got to live in her house until the end. And a "medium-box" retail development has a small indentation in it that may or may not be built over (depending on what happens now with the property). From where I stand that's pretty good - a little old lady got her way, for once - and our monolithic box architecture was forced to be a little quirky, for once.

Posted by Devo | June 17, 2008 3:33 PM

Other commentators have very eloquently rebutted Darek's asinine remarks, so let me just say this: Dude, you are as dumb as a bag of hair. And a stupid fuck, as well.

Posted by My Other Car's the Tardis | June 17, 2008 3:58 PM

And by the way Darek, down here in 'Merica we say "fucking," not "frigging" because we're not a bunch of socialist pussies.

Posted by Everyone Pile On The 'Nuck! | June 17, 2008 4:01 PM

The best part is that Edith Macefield probably gave a rats-ass about anything that anyone posting to this stupid blog thinks.

Posted by Interweb Masturbation | June 17, 2008 4:10 PM

I'll add to the Darek pile-on, albeit not particularly eloquently. Go fuck yourself, you apologist for greed and capital - it is not the late Mrs. Macefield or anyone else's job in life to make things easy for developers, contractors, and/or their apologists to make money.

And @73, I bet she'd be pleasantly surprised to see how many otherwise pro-development/density types are weighing in on behalf of her property rights.

Selling out for an ugly development project that you believe is destroying your community = $1 million.

Dying in your own home = priceless.

Posted by Mr. X | June 17, 2008 5:03 PM

Being pro-money is not very Canadian.

So Darek fails even at that.

Posted by Will in Seattle | June 17, 2008 5:12 PM

It wasn't natural causes. It was muuuuuuurrrrrrrrrdddddddeeeeeeeerrrrrr. (murder)

Posted by elswinger | June 17, 2008 7:22 PM

I don't give a crap about the bigger issues.

I hope her place is preserved -- or hey, left to rot would also work -- and made into a pocket park. It's a rare gem, a monument to what used to be the American spirit. I smiled every damn time I drove by her place.

Edith's my kinda gal. Thanks, and RIP.

Posted by Sara | June 17, 2008 11:07 PM

The more she can inconvenience developers the better. I hope she gave a few of them a heart attack or stroke because of her willfulness. I hope it drove a few engineers to suicide. I hope it gave some contractors cancer because of the stress she caused them.

I hope her independent life and peaceful death left a string of ruined lives and painful premature deaths among those in the building trades. I hope that their last death rattles were a groan of frustration caused by Edith Macefield. I hope they died cursing her, and I hope that there are some people quietly drinking themselves to death, or killing themselves with needle drugs because of her incredible selfishness.

I hope the children of those unfortunate souls are forced into prostitution and pornography because of their parents ruined lives, all because of one Edith Macefield. And I hope they all meet in hell.

Posted by Ayn Rand | June 17, 2008 11:19 PM

Who said I wanted to "win" at anything? And who said I wanted to change anyone's mind? You guys are set in your ways and for those that have been able to convey your point without cursing or telling me to go fuck myself, kudos to you, you're mature and we should all have a beer. To those that could only result in refering to me as a "douche" or an "asshole" - you're snickering is the lullaby that puts me to sleep at night.

I'm arguing the point of the other side - nothing is ever black and white and I likes explorin' the gray area thank you very much.

Oh and to the "that's very un-Canadian" remark:

I support gay rights
I don't support my conservative prime minister
I support women's rights
I support my public health care system
I support my country's reproductive rights (we don't have ridiculous 'moral pharmacies' up north)

Looks to me I'm very Canadian.

Posted by darek | June 18, 2008 5:41 AM

@79: Just stop. The fact you're so hysterically (oh crap, can I say that? Is that misogynistic?) responding to something like "un-Canadian" just confirms you have absolutely no sense of proportion, something already obvious when you hoped that an old woman was pressured and hounded until her death for doing nothing but asserting her rights as a property owner (see #26). Even the poor construction workers who were suffering at her selfish, greedy hands treated her like their own grandmother.

Now you're using your citizenship to brandish sanctimoniously over people who already fight for the same things we (yeah, I'm Canadian too) enjoy so freely. You embarrass your country. Just stop.

Posted by Gloria | June 18, 2008 8:14 AM

No I don't think I will. Hysterical? I was using caps or exclamation marks to drive my point home.

I don't see how I embarass my country by SUPPORTING it's rights. Rights that I can particularly effect my life no less. I'm not brandishing anything - I'm stating facts that make me proud of my country. "Sense of proportion"? - I'm not the one that began the anti-slurs, someone else did.

I was called un-canadian, and I defended that. I found that women to be a nuisance and I defended that. Would I have said that if she was 56 or 24? Yes. Do I care that she was 86? No. Do I care it's not the popular side of the argument? No. Will I stop because I've made people into whiny cry-babies? Nope.

You want me to "Just Stop" because my opinion is an unpopular one, then stop responding to me. I'm only responding to comments (read sometimes as threats) to me.

Posted by darek | June 18, 2008 9:07 AM

Stubborn old broad. Good for her.

And Darek, just stop...your making a fool of yourself.

Posted by Rotten666 | June 18, 2008 9:24 AM

shhhh....I put on "Trailer Park Boyz" and gave Darek a Labatt's juice box and put him down for a nap. After a little snooze, maybe he won't be so fussy and cranky.

Posted by michael strangeways | June 18, 2008 10:20 AM

You were embarrassing your country by thinking you're better just because you hold a different passport. Nobody here cares about what your political views are (or whether you hate Harper's face), but apparently it's really important to show off how enlightened Canada is, and how much better it is off than America -- not that a lot of people here don't want a better country for themselves too.

You don't have a sense of proportion because you responded so self-importantly to "slurs" that were obviously off-the-cuff jokes. And you fell for them.

I'm telling you to stop because saying that is as much my right as it is yours to tell me the same thing. It'd be pretty naive of me to actually believe I could make you stop by asking you -- as naive as it is of you to think I was making a real plea, rather than just trying to convey the depths to which your words are ridiculous.

"Threats"? Yes, "hysterical" is definitely the right term.

Posted by Gloria | June 18, 2008 10:25 AM


Posted by Oh, I'm Sorry -- I Thought This Was America... | June 18, 2008 2:18 PM

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