Monday, November 29, 2010
My kids have been begging to visit Cathedral of Junk, since it re-opened to the public last month. They love the crazy mish-mash of toys, knick-knacks, and oddities that fill Austinite Vince Hanneman's backyard. The winding structure is like an I-Spy museum of recycled "treasures" and the longer you meander, the more quirky details you discover. We headed over there yesterday, to see how much had changed since the South Austin tourist attraction was forced to close earlier this year.
The Cathedral of Junk is quite a bit smaller than it was before. In order to secure a building permit, Vince had to remove 30 tons of steel from the structure, and everything has been moved 5 feet in from neighboring property lines. You can also no longer climb to the second story, although it has been deemed structurally sound to hold the weight of 3,200 pounds. But even on this smaller scale, the towering piles of bicycles, signs, crutches and skis are as interesting as ever.
Now that everything is up to code and Cathedral of Junk is here to stay, I am sure the attraction will continue to attract the 10,000 guests said to visit each year. It is free to visit, but the Cathedral of Junk is only open when Vince is home. It is advisable to call ahead (512-299-7413).
The Cathedral of Junk is located at 4422 Lareina Drive, a few blocks south of Congress Avenue. Here are a few more photos, to whet your appetite. But then you really need to check it out in person!