Clock is ticking for Up lookalike house

Like the lead character in the animated movie Up, the owner of this house in Seattle had refused to sell her home to make way for commercial development.
Like the lead character in the animated movie Up, the owner of this house in Seattle had refused to sell her home to make way for commercial development.PHOTO: NEW YORK TIMES

Seattle - A century-old Seattle house resembling the home in Disney animated movie Up (2009) faces possible demolition, reports said.

Edith Macefield, who died in the house in 2008 aged 86, became a legend in 2006 when she refused US$1 million to sell her 600 sq ft, two-storey home to make way for a commercial development, forcing a big-box retail complex to be built around the home.

She willed her house to a construction superintendent she had befriended. The house was sold in 2007.

The current owner, an investment management company that obtained the house after a mortgage default, had said it hoped a new buyer could be found who would keep Macefield's memory and legacy alive.

A winning bid emerged, but the buyers - who planned to open a coffee and pastry shop in the space - found that bringing the roughly 115-year-old structure up to code requirements would be too expensive.

The house's broker, Mr Paul Thomas, said its age and condition make it cost-prohibitive for anyone to use it in its current location, newspaper website Seattlepi.com reported.

If a recipient able to move the house within 90 days is not found, the website said, it could face demolition.

Macefield has inspired a local musical festival, a rye-based cocktail and at least a few tattoos spotted in Seattle.

In 2009, publicists tied balloons to the house to market Up, about a curmudgeonly old man who refuses to sell his home and flies off in the house tied to balloons. The movie won an Oscar for the Best Animated Movie.

NEW YORK TIMES, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 02, 2015, with the headline 'Clock is ticking for Up lookalike house'. Print Edition | Subscribe