Trash to Treasure: The Cathedral of Junk in Austin, Texas


Photograph: Kyle John Schmidt

The Cathedral of Junk in Austin, Texas is exactly what it sounds like: a three-story structure built out of everything and the kitchen sink. Vince Hanneman started building the Cathedral in his backyard 22 years ago, and since then has utilized refrigerators, ovens, cutlery and bundt pans to expand it to epic proportions.

Unfortunately, as with most things that are totally awesome, the man is trying to bring it down. The city got wind of it and are now threatening to bulldoze the structure if Hanneman can't bring it up to code. If you're in Austin and want to help out, contact Save the Junk. If not, enjoy the kitchen junk pictures below and send Hanneman and company good thoughts.


Photograph: Kyle John Schmidt


Photograph: Kyle John Schmidt


Photograph: Kyle John Schmidt


Photograph: Kyle John Schmidt


Photograph: Kyle John Schmidt


The entire cathedral from the back. Photograph: Ishta Weerakoon


The entire cathedral from the front. Photograph: Ishta Weerakoon

—Paula Forbes

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  1. File this under the "weird facts about Addie" category: I used to live at the Cathedral of Junk. No in it, but in the house in front. Vince was my first roommate in Austin, and I randomly found him looking for a third roommate on Craiglist when I first moved here.

    I instantly fell in love with the Cathedral, and it's breaking my heart to think that it might go away. Hoping he and the volunteers can bring it up to code by next week. I cherish the months I helped give tours and welcome visitors, who were always as amazed as I was when I first walked through. I'm glad you posted some kitchen-related things he incorporated into the structure. Hopefully it'll still be there this time next week....

  2. I saw a mention somewhere that Kyle John Schmidt -- credited for the photos here -- was planning to present his play Fernando and the Killer Queen at the Cathedral on April 15. Was that correct? Is the anti-Cathedral push pre-empting that event? Please comment! Thanks, MM

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