Celebrate Ballard and the Edith Macefield House!


Eat Ballard Fantasy Crowdfunding Campaign (closed)

macefield house fundraising

The Edith Macefield House pictured here in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood is world famous.  Balloons were attached to the beloved nail house in 2010 to promote Pixar's movie UP.  As of March 2015, the house appears as a shell of its past self; the property is expected to change hands at a foreclosure auction on March 13, 2015.  As a result, the house risks once again being erased from the map for commercial development or turning into blight.  Does the Macefield House have nine lives?  Securing the property and creating a permanent, self-sustaining community attraction would require an estimated $1 million.  In response, Eat Ballard announces the world's first Fantasy Crowdfunding Campaign.


The two Seattle news radio hosts of KIRO's Ron & Don Show recently suggested that someone should start a crowdfunding campaign to buy and preserve the Edith Macefield House, which looks destined for demolition in our fast-growing Seattle neighborhood.  Although in apparent shambles, the little house remains standing and a regular point of interest for visitors and tour operators.  The house is emotionally powerful, loved by people of all ages across Ballard, Seattle and the world.

The Edith Macefield House, located near the Salmon Bay waterfront in Seattle's historic Ballard neighborhood, captured the hearts of millions around the world in 2006 when its owner, Edith Macefield, refused an offer by developers to relocate for $1,000,000.  The 108 year-old bungalow was used to promote the movie UP by Pixar, a Disney company closely tied to Apple's founding genius and dearly departed Steve Jobs.  The Edith Macefield House and the house in the movie UP are closely associated in the public's eye.  The Ballard house is iconic in its own right and unmistakably identifiable.  It has generated tens or hundreds of millions  of media impressions, more if one includes the movie UP with 15 million Likes on Facebook.

The Macefield house is dwarfed on 3 sides by the Ballard Blocks commercial development complex, which includes the popular neighborhood Trader Joe's and Ballard Bridge Cafe.  The house is captivatingly out of  place and arguably the most widely recognized nail house in the world.  As a result, its fate is emblematic.

Of the subjects covered on Eat Ballard's Facebook page last year, the Macefield House attracted one of the greatest responses with around 90% in favor of saving the house, if feasible.  The house has the potential to serve as an attraction for Ballard, a monument to dearly held values about home and rights and urbanization and growth and steadfast determination.  It would be a shame to let the house go without some bonafide effort to save it, however quixotic.

Hello, it's our pleasure to welcome you to the world's first Fantasy Crowdfunding Campaign.  A Google search reveals no existing definition and no indication of a prior fantasy crowdfunding campaign.  This approach is the result of many napkin scribbling sessions in the restaurants, cafes, bars, bakeries and breweries of Ballard where ideas and creativity flow freely in friendship.

As of March 3, 2015, the Edith Macefield House remains standing for all to visit. Come see what remains of it.  Afterwards, head towards one of the many Ballard breweries nearby or in the direction of the Centennial Bell Tower surrounded by bustling restaurants, bars, boutiques and faithfully preserved historic buildings of the Ballard District.


The goal of this campaign is to offer people and companies an opportunity to save the Edith Macefield House and to celebrate community in Ballard.


Assuming any proceeds were raised, they would be used first to cover the cost of delivering contracted rewards;  any surplus would be aimed at either making the Edith Macefield House into a permanent, self-sustaining community attraction or to support nonprofits, festivals and social groups in the community.


All are welcome to throw their support behind this initiative.  To pledge, click LET'S DO IT under the Fantasy Reward you like and complete the submission form.  Please review Rules, FAQs and Disclaimer near the bottom of this page.


Raise a Glass to Ballard

Imagine all the ways and marvelous places in Ballard to raise a glass to Old Lady Macefield who stuck to her guns.  A million bucks failed to impress her.  She was determined to sit in that house til her dying day, and that's exactly what she did.  God rest her soul.  Next time you open a bottle of wine from Ballard Market or an IPA brewed in the neighborhood, pour yourself an extra splash for a toast to the fierce, proud and independent culture of Ballard.  Feeling generous?  Buy a round of drinks for your table or the house at  your local watering hole.  Feeling really generous?

Please donate $100, $10 or $1000 directly to one of the Ballard charities or social groups here.  If you buy a round of drinks for the house at any EAT BALLARD establishment during this campaign or donate more than $500 to any Ballard community organization here, then you will be hooked up with a cool T-shirt, tote bag or chance to ring the Bell Tower.

PLEDGE AMOUNT:  Raise a Glass, Buy a Round or Make a Donation (self-serve)

I DID IT!  T-shirt or Tote Bag 

Start a New Ballard Tradition: Market Day Photo Booth

Imagine starting a new tradition that celebrates old and new in Ballard.  It will take no greater commitment than a pledge and a few phone calls.  With four pledges, a photo booth will be set up at the Farmers Market to have some fun.  This reward includes an added benefit for the grandmother or grandfather who is too cool for school.  You will receive the keys to a secret box containing a button to ring the community bell and delight children of all ages.

PLEDGE AMOUNT: Click Let's Do It! and complete submission form for pricing. 

LET'S DO IT!  Start a New Ballard Tradition

Macefield Music Festival VIP Package for 50 Friends & Headline Sponsorship

Imagine your friends, family and best customers will be special guests of the 2015 Macefield Music Festival in Ballard.  This annual celebration brings the Seattle Music Community together in a unique and intimate way.  You and up to 50 of your guests will receive the full VIP treatment, including all meals and drinks at Eat Ballard establishments.  Your company or brand will be recognized as a key partner across all promotional materials and at the concerts.

PLEDGE AMOUNT: Click Let's Do It! and complete submission form for pricing. 

LET'S DO IT!  Sponsor Macefield Music Festival 

Light Up Ballard!

Imagine Ballard lit up with twice the usual number of Christmas Lights in 2015!  The lights will extend further along Market Street and Ballard Avenue for the community and local merchants.  Your pledge will put a cheerful holiday Sold sign on this Fantasy Reward.

PLEDGE AMOUNT: Click Let's Do It! and complete submission form for pricing.  

LET'S DO IT!  Light up Ballard

Private Women's Philanthropy Lunch in Ballard

Imagine an elegant table prepared for 10 Seattle women to sit down for lunch in honor of Melinda Gates or another equally admired local philanthropist and community leader.  Lunch will be a completely private affair for your group to discuss wide ranging subjects and to renew old friendships.  Lunch will be served by your chef of choice.

PLEDGE AMOUNT: Click Let's Do It! and complete submission form for pricing.

LET'S DO IT!  Women's Philantropy Lunch

Exclusive Rights to Macefield Tattoo Photo Shoot in Ballard

Imagine a house and story evoking so much passion that over 20 people in Ballard alone have braved the needle to have its image permanently imprinted on their bodies.  You or your company will have exclusive rights to a photo shoot and cocktail reception for this gathering of Macefield tattoos.

PLEDGE AMOUNT: Click Let's Do It! and complete submission form for pricing.

LET'S DO IT!  Tattoo Photo Shoot          

Seattle Music Insider Night at Hazlewood 

Imagine that the music business had been good to you in Seattle.  You are eager to share your success with the community and partners, to explore ground-breaking ideas and to expand your industry network.  You and your guests will be invited to Hazlewood in Ballard for a gathering of local music producers and supporters as a show of unity, strength and leadership for Seattle music culture.

PLEDGE AMOUNT: Click Let's Do It! and complete submission form for pricing.

LET'S DO IT!  Seattle Music Insider Night

Stick it to the Man Breakfast Workout 

Imagine working out your taste buds over breakfast at the Hi-Life with a man whose Beastly power is legendary.  You will hit the gym together at Olympic Athletic Club on Seattle's historic Ballard Avenue.  If such a man were looking for a breakfast partner in Ballard, would you be game?  Extend the invitation.  No press!

PLEDGE AMOUNT: Click Let's Do It! and complete submission form for pricing. 

LET'S DO IT!  Stick it to the Man Breakfast 

BBQ Business Lunch on the Northwestern 

Imagine that one of Ballard's own crab boat captains like Sig Carlson invites you and 20 of your closest team members, vendors, clients and business partners for a 90-minute waterfront tour of Ballard on one of the world's most famous North Pacific Fishing Fleet boats.  What would it be worth to hear behind-the-scene stories about Sig's time on World's Deadliest Catch and the latest Celebrity Apprentice with Donald Trump?  We can't think of a better way to seal the deal and make a statement!

PLEDGE AMOUNT: Click Let's Do It! and complete submission form for pricing.   

LET'S DO IT!  Lunch on Northwestern

Progressive Chefs Dinner 

When great chefs gather, you can expect the food to be equally remarkable.  Imagine joining Anthony Bourdain as his guest for a progressive dinner through Ballard.  Expect an evening of storytelling, tasting and reveling.  Bring up to 15 friends and associates with you.  First-class accommodations at Hotel Ballard and chauffeured limousines are part of the reward.  An invitation can be extended to Mr. Bourdain on your behalf with a pledge.

PLEDGE AMOUNT: Click Let's Do It! and complete submission form for pricing.

LET'S DO IT! Progressive Chefs Dinner

Mexican Brunch & Ballard Brews

Imagine one of your most beloved stars, for example Salma Hayek or Ellen DeGeneres, with you and a few friends for brunch at Ballard's esteemed Senor Moose Cafe.  Paired with the authentic Mexican cuisine and fine company, you could expect to enjoy seasonal beer from local brewers like Bad Jimmy's, Stoup, Reuben's, Populuxe, Peddler's and Hilliard's.

PLEDGE AMOUNT: Click Let's Do It! and complete submission form for pricing.

LET'S DO IT!  Mexican Brunch & Brews                                      

Sino-Franco Parisian Nuit Blanche in Ballard

Imagine hosting a night of spectacle and celebration that you and your special guests will never forget.  Perhaps one of France's most honored entertainers and cabaret dinner show hosts, Patrick Sebastien, could present the festivities along with China's biggest movie star, Fan Bingbing, at his table.  You could expect performances by Seattle's own theatrical sensations like Teatro Zinzani and Moisture Festival.  Hale's Ales Palladium Theater will be transformed into a Parisian speakeasy to receive you and your 200 guests.  Alternatively, dinner can be outdoors under the stars along historic Ballard Avenue, which will be closed to traffic for the celebration.

PLEDGE AMOUNT: Click Let's Do It! and complete submission form for pricing. 

LET'S DO IT!  Parisian Nuit Blanche

White Knight!  Macefield Cupcake Decorating Party with Friends

Imagine being the White Knight who saves the Edith Macefield House for future generations, publicizing your most important cause globally, and making the dreams of a lifetime come true for a very special group of children.  Why wouldn't Katy Perry and her text friend, Russell Wilson, come for a cupcake decorating party in Ballard to celebrate?  This would be an excellent occasion to extend an invitation to them for a cause that may fit well with their brand and philanthropic values.  For a White Knight more interested in business, technology or animation, how about an executive lunch with Bob Iger, John Lasseter or Dr. Ed Catmull at Pixar?  They might be eager to hear your story over lunch upon request.

PLEDGE AMOUNT: Click Let's Do It! and complete submission form for pricing.

LET'S DO IT!  White Knight

Push the Plunger on the Macefield House

Imagine owning the Edith Macefield property and the right to push the proverbial plunger to blow the house to smithereens for $1,000,000, of which half will go directly to support Ballard nonprofits in the Community.  The demolition will be made into a video and your generosity will be gratefully recognized.  We don't want to say goodbye to the Macefield House, but we would prefer this reward than to wake up one morning and discover the house is gone without fanfare or community support.

PLEDGE AMOUNT: $1,000,000



1.  Rules and Rewards may be added, removed or changed at any time.
2.  A pledge is only completed upon receipt of a deposit and nominal retainer.
3.  This Fantasy Crowdfunding Campaign may be closed at any time.
4.  Clicking LET'S DO IT! for a Reward and completing the submission form costs no money and entails no obligation by any party.
5.  All with an interest in Ballard or the Edith Macefield House are welcome to suggest changes to Fantasy Rewards and to include their own Fantasy Reward as part of this campaign, subject to editorial review.


Q: Why is this called this a Fantasy Crowdfunding Campaign? 

A: This campaign was made up to drum up publicity for the Macefield House in hope of reaching a white knight or benefactor with the means and motivation to prevent the house from being demolished or blighting the neighborhood for years.  The key criteria for a Fantasy Reward is to be imaginative, but attainable.  If a Reward becomes impossible to realize during the campaign, for example the house is demolished, then the Reward will be crossed off the list.

Q: A million dollars seems like an awful lot of money to save this house. Are there not more deserving causes?

A: The Edith Macefield property has been mismanaged, mistreated and ensnared in litigation.  Establishing a permanent, self-sustaining community attraction on the site would require an estimated minimum of $1,000,000, which happens to be equal to the amount once offered Edith Macefield.  For more deserving causes to support in Ballard, please refer to the Community directory.

Q: Why doesn't a local nonprofit simply take over the house?

A: The property in its current state would be a significant financial burden and commitment for a nonprofit.  In order for a nonprofit to accept the property as a gift, it would need to include clear title and a donation covering the future costs of keeping and maintaining the property.  Assuming the property costs $600,000 to secure and renovate, $400,000 would remain as a donation for a nonprofit to accept ownership and maintain the house for 10 years.  Estimated total cost of giving the house to a nonprofit for 10 years:  $1,000,000.

Q: Why did you not use one of the usual crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter, Indiegogo or GoFundMe?

A: Current online crowdfunding platforms do not lend themselves to this particular situation.  For example, Kickstarter limits rewards to a value of $10,000 and prohibits alcohol as part of an offer.  Other platforms also suffered limitations.

Q: Will the Edith Macefield House be demolished and erased from Seattle's map?

A: It seems likely.  Results of the foreclosure auction on March 13, 2015, should provide a strong indication and may prove to be a pivotal milestone for the future of the Edith Macefield House.

Q: What will happen to this campaign if the Macefield House is bought by a developer to demolish?

A: Each Fantasy Reward is intended to stand on its own.  If securing and preserving the property proves unviable, then any net proceeds will be used to support the Ballard Community in consultation with the respective Reward pledgor(s).

Q: What will happen to the Macefield House if this campaign manages to secure the property?

A: In that unlikely event, the Edith Macefield House would be transformed into a safe, attractive and enjoyable place of community that celebrates Ballard's vibrancy, history and values for generations to come.  The property would be gifted to a qualified, local nonprofit to manage, maintain and preserve.

Q: Why should I take a risk on such a wacky plan?  What's in it for me?

A: Because Rewards represent a strategic opportunity to make a public statement about the causes important to you and/or your business.  Opportunities to break through the media clutter and be heard convincingly by a global audience are rare.  The Edith Macefield House represents such an opportunity.  There is no cost, risk or obligation associated with clicking LET'S DO IT!, filling out the submission form and learning more.

Q: I like the idea.  Why can't I do this myself?

A: If you are in the fortunate position to consider a large pledge or save the Edith Macefield House independently, then that would be terrific; you would be the toast of the town and the hero of HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS of people.  Imagine the headlines and PR potential.

Q: I love the Macefield House and want to make a difference, but the Fantasy Rewards are too rich for my blood.  What can I do?

A:  Here are a few ideas how you can make a meaningful contribution:

    • Get the kids in your family to draw pictures of the Macefield House, make signs, videos or any other form of expression about why the house should be preserved (or not). Post photos and videos of their creations on the Edith Macefield Facebook page.  Send these also to your local papers and post them online.  Here are two good direct links for house images:  Google Images and Flickr
    • Leave flowers in front of the house or attach a Love Lock to the cyclone fence as a sign of solidarity.
    • Report any activity around the house suggesting a sudden demolition.
    • Write an opinion letter; send it to your elected representatives and local editors.
    • Share this story with journalists you know, your local media, neighbors and teachers.
    • Donate $100 or $10 or $1000 to a local community cause.  If you give through Seattle Foundation's GiveBIG on May 5th, then your donation will be multiplied at no additional cost to you.
    • Lead a vigil.
    • Treat yourself to a nice meal at the Ballard Bridge Cafe just next to the Edith Macefield House and raise a glass to being part of Ballard.

Q:  I have a better idea.  Can I suggest a different Fantasy Reward?

A:  Absolutely!  Please email your idea in a paragraph to eatballard@gmail.com; if it fits, then it's in.

Q: Is someone going to get rich off this?

A: Not likely, but aim for the moon and shoot for the stars.


This article describes an aspiration, a fun idea aimed at drumming up publicity for the Edith Macefield House and possibly reaching a white knight to save the house.  No funds will be accepted before legal ownership of the house is fully clarified.