Edith Macefield was a local hero in Seattle, WA. She was born in Oregon in 1921 and remained in the Northwest her entire life. While living out her senior years, she was threatened with being relocated, but fought back.
The area around her home was targeted for the development of a major shopping mall. They wanted her to move, but she refused to leave the house she had been living in since 1952. Even when offered a million dollars for the land, she didn't budge.
For refusing to cave in to the commercialization of her neighborhood, Macefield became a local celebrity. Her story is reminiscent of the movie Up, and many put up balloons around her home in honor of her after her passing in 2008. So who was left the house? Macefield formed a bond with a construction worker building the mall around her home and she left it to him. Barry Markin wrote a book about getting to know her, and how grateful he was, since selling the home allowed him to put his children through college.
Some land owners refuse to move even in death. Such is the case of Chang Jinzhu, who was dead and buried before this story even began. A developer wanted to erect an apartment complex right on top of his gravesite.
Jinzhu's family refused to sell the plot, so the developers dug around the area. It made for one creepy tombstone, as it was isolated high up in the air. A compromise was finally made on the "Nail Grave" in 2012. The family allowed the developers to relocate it. Here is an image of a ramp they built to allow the family to come and pay final respects before the land was moved.
If you've ever been to New York City, you've likely seen the Macy's on the corner of 34th Street and Broadway. It proudly boasts of being the world's largest store. However, they were forced to build this all around another business.
A tiny five-story building sits right in front of this massive Macy's. It's often covered in Macy's advertisements and goes unnoticed. The department giants have wanted this land ever since the store was built in 1902, but the owners always refused to give it up.
Portland transit authority TriMet wanted to use the space where this house stood to create a new transit hub. Unfortunately for them, they were up against a lawyer who knew his stuff and was now heavily motivated to fight back. He put too much time and money into this house to just roll over.
The story spread and many supported Acker and his "Figo House" (named after his dog). Acker wondered what the point of this construction was, saying, "Their project is supposed to revitalize businesses, not demolish them."
You already saw the "Nail Grave," now see the "Nail House." This story is similar to every other you've read thus far. A homeowner in Chongqing, China refused to be pushed aside to make way for development plans.
Wu Ping made dramatic displays of not giving in to the government developers, making her a star. She fought the government so long and so hard eventually the laws changed, giving more rights to tenants. Her unique home on a hill was eventually demolished, but only after she had agreed to sell the land and was heavily compensated for it.
There are some beautiful and unique train rides in the world, but none quite like this. You're not seeing things. The Gate Tower building in Osaka, Japan has a highway running right through the fifth, sixth and seventh floors of the 16 story building.
A charcoal-based business owned this land and planned to construct a building on the spot. The only problem was there were already plans in motion for the Hanshin Expressway to cut through this area. Luckily, a compromise was reached. No one was forcibly evicted or needed to get into a battle, and Osaka gained a landmark, known around town as "The Beehive."