$18,649 pledged of $205,000 goal
backers
By OPAL Community Land Trust
$18,649 pledged of $205,000 goal
backers

About

Save Edith Macefield’s “Up House" from demolition! The house must be moved or face possible demolition. Help honor Edith's legacy and make her house into a home again for a family in need.

After years of failed attempts, the house must be moved from its unimaginable location, hemmed in on three sides by development.

Last month, the current owners announced that the house will need to be moved and the land will be sold separately. After considering proposals, the owners will donate the house to OPAL Community Land Trust, but it will only happen if OPAL can raise the money to save the house.

OPAL wants to save the famous “Up” House by floating it away, not to Paradise Falls, but to Orcas Island, 60 miles north of Seattle. On the island, Edith’s house would become a home again, this time for a family in need. Edith’s house will have new neighbors that are houses with families.

Here’s the lowdown:

• The future of Edith Macefield’s “Up House" is in jeopardy. The house's fate is uncertain and it must be moved or face possible demolition. You can save the house by donating to our campaign.

• Numerous attempts to preserve, renovate or re-use the house in its current location have failed.

• OPAL, a non-profit organization, submitted a proposal to save the house. We will float Edith’s house by barge to Orcas Island, Washington, to provide permanently affordable housing for a family in need. (As much as we wanted to use only a huge bundle of balloons to float the house up and away, the help of a barge is needed!)

The proposal has been accepted. But it won’t happen without your support.

• Edith Macefield lived out her wish to remain in her home until she died. You can keep Edith’s ideal of the importance of a home alive, and make a difference for a family who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford a home.

• OPAL is working to raise the funds necessary to lift Edith’s house up, move it away by truck and barge, purchase the land on which it will rest, and make it ready for a family in need on Orcas Island. The funds need to be in place before the house is moved.

A public tribute at Edith's "Up House." Photo courtesy of NoBSBroker.com.
A public tribute at Edith's "Up House." Photo courtesy of NoBSBroker.com.

A New Chapter for the "Up House": Edith, meet OPAL

Edith Macefield
Edith Macefield

Born in 1921, Edith Macefield’s life was filled with adventure—from joining the military at age 18 to living overseas to touring as a singer with big bands. But one of her biggest adventures of all came in her retirement.

Edith Macefield's house in Ballard. Photo by Nino M. on Yelp.
Edith Macefield's house in Ballard. Photo by Nino M. on Yelp.

Edith Macefield’s house was made internationally famous when a mall and office center was constructed around it after she turned down a reported $1 million offer from the developers so she could stay in her home.

Since then, thousands of people have connected with the story of Edith's house and her tenacity, and with parallels to the Disney/Pixar movie “Up.” Barry Martin and Philip Lerman wrote a book, Under One Roof, telling lessons Barry learned from Edith, and stories she told him about her life.

Edith died in June 2008 and the house has remained vacant since then.

We believe that bringing the house to Orcas Island is the right thing to do. It will help a family own a house and provide the stability that comes with ownership, honor Edith’s legacy of the importance of home, and preserve the house itself for generations to come.

Public balloon tribute at Edith's "Up House." Photo courtesy of NoBSBroker.com.
Public balloon tribute at Edith's "Up House." Photo courtesy of NoBSBroker.com.

Who is OPAL and what are the plans for Edith Macefield’s house?

• OPAL is a nonprofit charitable organization (501c3) that has been providing permanently affordable housing for 26 years. (Donations are tax deductible to the extent of the law). Our experience includes moving houses—10 so far—including 5 houses moved by barge to Orcas from the Seattle area. Learn more about OPAL >

• As part of a Community Land Trust, Edith’s house will always be protected and affordable, providing housing that is affordable to the residents for generations to come. The land will be kept for residential use in perpetuity. Learn more about permanently affordable housing >

• Edith’s home is in excellent structural shape with new framing. OPAL will restore the house, ultimately looking similar to Edith's original home. We will be “Up” cycling the house rather than building another home, a surprisingly cost-effective option for creating affordable housing that also can reduce waste.

Current interior of Edith's "Up House."
Current interior of Edith's "Up House."


• Orcas Island has one of the highest housing affordability gaps in the State of Washington – making it very difficult for local residents who live and work on the island to afford a home. OPAL provides affordable housing for nearly 5% of Orcas Island’s year-round population.

• In October 2015, we plan to physically move the house from its foundation, transport it via truck to an ocean-going barge where it will float north through the Salish Sea to Orcas Island. We already have an agreement to purchase land near the main village of Eastsound, where the house will be sited on a new foundation.

OPAL has moved 10 houses, 5 by barge:

A house recycled by OPAL is transferred off the barge onto the island.
A house recycled by OPAL is transferred off the barge onto the island.
An OPAL house heads to Orcas Island by ocean-going barge.
An OPAL house heads to Orcas Island by ocean-going barge.

We are thrilled to be taking care of Edith Macefield’s ‘Up’ house as it floats to a new family, and hope Edith’s story will highlight the ongoing importance of homes for stable families and communities throughout our state and country.

Learn more about Edith Macefield >
Learn more about OPAL Community Land Trust >

Image of Edith's "Up House" courtesy of NoBSBroker.com.
Image of Edith's "Up House" courtesy of NoBSBroker.com.

Risks and challenges

Our proposal to float Edith’s house to Orcas Island to provide permanently affordable housing has been accepted by the owner of the house.

However, OPAL has just until September 15, 2015 to raise the funds necessary to lift Edith’s house up, move it away and relocate it on the new site. Once funds are raised during this Kickstarter project, we are confident that we will be able to complete the stages of this project in a timely and efficient way.

OPAL has been providing permanently affordable housing for 26 years, with numerous completed affordable housing projects.

We’re already in the process of purchasing the land where Edith’s House will be sited in Eastsound, near two other OPAL projects. OPAL has extensive experience with projects like this one--including 10 houses moved from other locations--for affordable housing. We’ve worked with the house-relocation and barge company several times before and understand the process, from permitting to the tides tables!

We have already confirmed the team of people who will work on the project, from transport to renovation. And we have an eager waiting list of families waiting to purchase an affordable home.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 5 or more About $5

    We’ll make a list of every single donor to the campaign above $5 and post it and seal it inside the wall of Edith’s house before it’s restored, as a time capsule of everyone’s generosity and good will that will remain within the walls of the house.

    You’ll also get an image of Edith’s house floating away to enjoy and share on social media.

    All donors will be acknowledged on our website about the Edith Macefield house project.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    We’ll mail you package of 5 balloons, with illustrations of Edith’s house printed on them, for your own celebration!

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Thanks! We’ll send you a thank you card with an illustration of Edith’s house by Orcas Island artist Frank Loudin.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    Orcas Island artist Frank Loudin will illustrate the journey of Edith’s house, and we’ll send you a 5" x 7" art print of the illustration once it’s finished.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 1,000 or more About $1,000

    Come celebrate with us! We’ll extend invitation to a “welcome” party on beautiful Orcas Island for the home after it arrives and is restored, in 2016. Date TBD.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 2,500 or more About $2,500

    Edith kept a picket fence around her house for many years. We’ll add a fence at the new location, and put your name on a plaque on it, recognizing your support.

    Plus an invitation to the Welcome party!

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    Pledge US$ 5,000 or more About $5,000

    Foundational supporters get their name carved into an permanent sign placed on a rock on the land in front of the house.

    Plus, we invite you to come spend half a day on Orcas Island helping restore the house with our contractor, putting your hands to work restoring Edith’s legacy.

    Plus an invitation to the Welcome party!

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Funding period

- (42 days)