We love that Austin “Keeps it Weird”, and the Cathedral of Junk is one of those amazing things here in our lovely city that fully embraces that spirit. The Cathedral of Junk is a sculpture made of over 60 tons of junk, including found objects such as bicycle parts, electronics, broken toys, bottles, car parts, building materials, tires, signs, and much, much (much) more. Located in the backyard of South Austin artist, Vince Hannemann, you must call for an appointment to visit his home to see it. But wow — when you see it, it’ll blow you away!
Way more than just a junk pile, this Cathedral sculpture is a work of art that started in 1988 and is always in flux as Vince continues to add new parts and features to it. The structure is very large and visually stunning. You could spend hours looking at the detail of all the objects within the Cathedral. You’re able to actually walk into it, making your way through the various sections, and you can even climb up two levels for treetop views.
We walked through with mouths agape most of our visit, just simply in awe of it all. The sound of wind chimes added to the magic, as did the sunlight peeking through and illuminating some of the “rooms”.
To visit the Cathedral, you must call ahead (512-299-7413) and make an appointment with Vince. He said he’s showing it to approximately 200-300 visitors each week, and currently about 3 days/week. When you chat with him on the phone, he’ll inform you that you’ll be asked to provide a $10 donation per group, and you must be very courteous about parking in his quiet residential neighborhood, noting not to block neighbors’ driveways of mailboxes.
The Cathedral of Junk is located at 4422 Lareina Dr., Austin, TX 78798 in a neighborhood just off South 1st Street & St. Elmo.