June Checklist Item: Check Out the Cathedral of Junk
If “Keep Austin Weird” was a religion, the Cathedral of Junk would be its premier place of worship. It’s a multistory structure made out of all kinds of stuff, from concrete-filled tires to old CDs, street signs, glass bottles and toys. It reminds you of a post-apocalyptic urban setting in a video game or a movie, where survivors have created life anew using fragments of the old world. Extreme upcycling? Whatever the term, it’s gorgeous.
Nestled in a pretty normal-looking neighborhood, you can barely tell all that the backyard contains. Owner Vince Hannemann will open the gate for you when you arrive and presides over the scene, answering questions.
One visit, the mosquitoes were out in full force, so if you are tasty to these pests, you might want to get your bug spray on before you head out.
If you’re planning a trip:
- Budget about an hour so you have time to look at everything and really take it all in. Past an hour, you may be tired of chasing your kid, or just need a break from the visual stimuli.
- The inside of the Cathedral is shady, but on hot and sunny days, the top floors might not be as fun.
- We weren’t able to figure out good parking on St. Elmo (it has a bike lane!), so we parked a couple of blocks away in the neighborhood. Once I saw how many people didn’t research ahead and just showed up, though, I felt bad because it does lead to a concentration of cars. So, take the extra few minutes to scope the parking situation.
- It’s smart to buddy up with another few people, since the $10 admission fee covers a group.
Location: 4422 Lareina Drive
Austin, Texas 78745
Note: Owner Vince Hannemann asks that you please park on St. Elmo and walk down, so the neighborhood doesn’t get crowded with cars.
Contact Info Phone: (512) 299-7413
Hours: Private residence, so call before you visit.
Cost: $10 suggested donation per group
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About the author: Skye got back to Austin in 2000 and she’s never moving away again. She blogs her geeky mom life to a 6-year-old boy at Planet Jinxatron.