Junking the Cathedral
Cathedral of Junk creator bent till he broke
The Cathedral of Junk is no more. On June 15 owner Vince Hannemann announced that he is demolishing the South Austin icon. The three-story, 60-ton tourist attraction was closed by the city's Public Assembly Code Enforcement unit earlier this year due to safety concerns (see "One Man's Junk …," March 26), and since then Hannemann has struggled to make the structure legal. Hannemann, who built the structure in his backyard out of found items, said, "The city has made me alter the Cathedral so much that little of its original charm is left." The news surprised both council, which had been working on a resolution to retain the structure, and Solid Waste Services. Spokeswoman Jennifer Herber said that the Code Compliance Department was scheduled to reinspect the cathedral later this week and was optimistic that it would be within code. Save the Cathedral of Junk organizer Micah King explained that it was an artistic decision driven by the code changes. He said, "Vince felt that the Cathedral would never be what it once was given the concessions he felt he had made and the fact that his understanding was that nobody could any longer interact with the artwork."