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Cathedral of Junk Can Live On, Just Not as "Tourist Attraction"

Cathedral of Junk
Photo by Mose Buchele for KUT News
A City of Austin news release issued today says the Cathedral of Junk can live on, but can't be promoted as a tourist attraction.

The City's Planning & Development Review Department issued a news release this morning saying that the City of Austin and the Cathedral of Junk reached an agreement to keep the structure on the property.

KUT News reported in June that the Cathedral of Junk would be allowed to remain, after city inspectors initially told owner Vince Hannemann to destroy the bizarre attraction.

Hannemann was issued a single-family permit for his property, which means the following conditions apply.

Mr. Hanneman must not advertise the structure as an event venue or public/tourist attraction, and must stop promoting the site on websites.   The agreement does allow a few on-site events, such as private parties or occasional weddings, during the year.   However, the owner must obtain the proper permits before holding any event.   Current zoning requirements do not permit public events in residential areas zoned as single family because of compatibility issues such as excess noise, traffic, inadequate parking and sanitary facilities as well as other health and safety issues.

Reached by telephone this morning, Hannemann told KUT News that he can't be held responsible for what other people post about the Cathedral of Junk online.

"I know there's probably two Facebook [pages] up, I didn't have anything to do with that," Hanneman said. "I didn't create any of these sites. I don't necessarily endorse any of these sites. I don't have any editorial control over them. So how would I get rid of them exactly?"

Hannemann says traffic to the Cathedral of Junk is about half what it was before the city first threatened to shut it down.  

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion-dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on X @KUTnathan.