Beer Can House in Houston Becomes Landmark, More Importantly: There's a House Made of Beer Cans

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Beer Can House
Beer Can House AP Photo/Pat Sullivan

Now this is art we can get behind. This is art we "understand."

This is a house made out of beer cans.

John Milkovisch of Houston, Tex, enjoyed an afternoon beer with his wife. But whereas most of us trash our empties—or recycle them, hopefully—Milkovisch stored every can in his attic, a six-pack a day for 20 years, waiting for something to do with them.

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In the late ‘60s and into the ‘70s, John began his home renovations, using cement blocks embedded with marbles he saved from childhood to cover the lawn (because he was sick of mowing the grass—we like the way this guy thinks!) Then with aluminum siding a popular trend at the time, he spent 17 months covering his home with over 50,000 flattened beer cans (Budweiser! Shiner! "Whatever's on special"!).

There's a fine line between Hoarders and found art.

"The funny thing is that it wasn't... to attract attention," Ruben Guevara, head of the organization that would eventually restore the home explained. "If there was a house similar to this a block away, he wouldn't take the time to go look at it. He had no idea what was the fascination about what he was doing."

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At one point, John and his wife, Mary, even had to add a fence around the property to maintain some privacy from the spectators (of course, the fence was covered in beer cans too, naturally).

But he didn't mind the attention either. Milkovisch once said, "It tickles me to watch people screech to a halt. They get embarrassed. Sometimes they drive around the block a couple of times. Later they come back with a car-load of friends."

He even reportedly would invite some in for a beer.

John passed away in the mid-1980s and Mary a decade later. A local nonprofit, Orange Show Center for Visionary Art, then bought the property, restored it and opened it to the public. You can visit the Beer House year-round.

But now it's BYOB.

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