Cathedral of Junk

4422-4424 Lareina Dr Austin

Stay Weird, Austin/Cathedral of Junk
Downtown Austin Alliance
Written By Downtown Austin Alliance

The Downtown Austin Alliance is a partnership of downtown property owners, individuals, and businesses devoted to preserving and enhancing the value and vitality of downtown Austin.

Over 60 tons of junk sit in the backyard of a house on the south side of Austin. Built by Vince Hannemann, the Cathedral of Junk can’t be seen from the street. You’ll have to walk right up for it to unveil itself before your eyes.

It’s filled with stairways, observation platforms, and arched ceilings that cross multiple floors. And a throne room.

When people ask Vince "why?" he only gets frustrated, saying there is no cosmic reason why. It’s just a thing he did. And in Austin -- that’s ok.

In 2000, Vince tried to destroy his creation, ripping apart the tower that stood in his backyard, only to rebuild it again as a more spread-eagled mansion.

In 2010 the city set its sights on tearing it down, ordering Hannemann to obtain a building permit and certificate of occupancy for his then 33-foot sculpture of trash. But Austin’s people rallied to “Save the Junk,” and the structure is still standing, now in its 27th year.

In fact, it’s played host to a number of parties, weddings, and social events, fitting right in with Austin’s weird community. Not surprisingly, the place is a big hit with children. But note that the Cathedral of Junk is by appointment only.

Cover photo credit @andreaeschevere7 via Instagram.

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Cathedral of Junk

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