Edith Macefield’s name will live on, because she was able to beat a multi-millionaire developer by keeping her home. The developer who was interested in Macefield’s home bought up everything around her home in an attempt to build a mall. She lived on a street in Seattle that is becoming increasingly popular, which led developers to foresee a very lucrative mall.
It is likely that the developer who sought to buy her home did not think a woman as stubborn as Macefield lived there. The developers first offered the woman a price under market value, thinking that any amount of money would satisfy her. Of course, she declined the offer without even thinking about it. The developers returned with a few more offers that gave the homeowner an opportunity to sell the home for far more than what it was worth. The offers went up to $1 million, but she stood her ground and did not sell her property.
The developer who made plans to build the mall in her neighborhood probably did not predict that someone would not be persuaded by something as illusive as money. This is not surprising when one digs into who the woman truly was. For one, she was a valuable U.S. soldier, as she knew more than one language, but there was one little hiccup. She was not 18 when she joined the army, and this was later discovered after Macefield served some time. Of course, she was sent back home after that, but there is no doubt that there was a fire in this young woman’s heart that was not easily put out.
The 86-year-old woman lived in this house for 60 years before passing away. She fought the developers until her last breath. The developer went so far as to construct the mall anyway, leaving her house intact. This was done in an effort to drive her out because a big crowd of people would frequent her non-existent neighborhood. Macefield did not give up her fight and did not move from her home. She wanted to die where her mother died.
In a strange turn of events, one of the contractors in charge of building the mall, Barry Martin, became friendly with the woman. Their friendship grew while he was constructing the mall. Martin became her caretaker after a while and continued to care for her. As she aged, her health began to deteriorate. The courageous and principled woman passed away in 2008. By the time she passed away, Macefield and Martin had become such good friends that she left him the house.
Martin kept the house and did not sell it to the developer, even after she had passed on. He kept Macefield’s land intact for seven long years, which was something the rich mall developer was not happy about. The house continued to stand as the mall stood directly across from it. After the seven years, Martin decided to donate the house to charity. This happened in 2015, and the house is now going to be used to provide affordable housing to people in need.
Macefield won a lot more than she could have ever imagined. Her fight against this rich developer will forever stand as a constant reminder that money does not always win. The house will be a home for those in need and not a part of a mall that could represent America’s worst trait, indulgent consumerism. Macefield’s home stands as a monument that might remind some that this is where greed bled just a little. It will remain a beacon of hope.