The Beer Can House…


John Milkovisch, a retired upholsterer for the Southern Pacific Railroad, started his project now known as the Beer Can House in 1968 when he began inlaying thousands of marbles, rocks, and metal pieces into concrete and redwood to form unique landscaping features. When the entire front and back yard were completely covered because he “got sick of mowing the grass”, he turned to the house itself and began adding aluminum siding – aluminum beer can siding, that is.


Over the next 18 years the house disappeared under a cover of flattened beer cans for both practical and decorative reasons. Garlands made of cut beer cans hanging from the roof edges not only made the house sing in the wind, but also lowered the family’s energy bills. Ripley’s Believe It or Not estimated that over 50,000 cans adorn this monument to recycling.


John considered his work an enjoyable pastime rather than a work of art, but he did enjoy people’s reaction to his creations. He 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…”


The house and landscape are adorned with many different types of beer that John, himself, drank (though his neighbors and his wife, Mary, were always glad to lend a hand!). Did he prefer one brand to the next? His favorite beer was always “Whatever’s on special”.

“Some people say this is sculpture, but I didn’t go to no expensive school to get these crazy notions.”  –John Milkovisch


Today, the Beer Can House is owned and operated by The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art, a non-profit organization founded in 1980 to preserve and present works of extraordinary imagination and provide people the opportunity to express personal artistic vision.



You just never know what we will find, when we travel to see family.

I told Tarzan, “Honey, you have to pose in front of this Beer Can House.”

“Who knows when we will ever see anything like this again!”

Jane thinks Tarzan is just the peaches cream, always willing and able.♥

If you would like to see this Houston landmark, it is located at 222 Malone Street, between Memorial Drive and Washington Avenue.

Bonus Inspiration: Russian Photographer…wait till you see her work! Literally, will take your breath away. You will leave there amazed!! Click here to see her images.

Thank you for taking the time to stop and say hello my friends.


56 thoughts on “The Beer Can House…

  1. Oh my goodness! How amazing! I doubt I would have believed it was so cool and had so much detail without seeing your photos! Thanks for improving my day! 😀

  2. Did the builder drink all the cans used in the house? I’ve seen them made from beer bottles and a house completely covered in seashells.

  3. I love that there is “a non-profit organization founded in 1980 to preserve and present works of extraordinary imagination and provide people the opportunity to express personal artistic vision”. How completely cool! This guy had more hands on education than some of those who went to expensive schools to get there “crazy notions”. Love this post!

  4. Hi Laurie!
    Pretty cool. Is this in Houston? I saw – about a week ago or so on – How the States got Their Shapes (I think) how they don’t have rules on houses & how to build them. They showed one like this. And – if this is in Houston – it probably was this very house.

  5. Houston does have a lot of fun art installations, and this is definitely one of them. Great job photoing it. Sometime when you are in town, we must meet.

  6. Wow who would have thought beer cans could cover a house! I like people’s creativity!! Love your posts! By the way, Tarzan is cute! Tee hee! Hugz Lisa and Bear

  7. Creativity is a wonderful thing and is expressed in so many different ways…Don’t you know God gets a kick out of what we do with the gifts He gives us…..Never seen anything like this house before……very creative….

  8. Now that is one fascinating house Laurie. I can only imagine how much work and ‘drinking’ that cost. LOL!
    Tarzan sure looks good in front of the house. I bet he can’t say no to Jane..hehehe
    Great shots and great share hon. 😀 *hugs*

  9. In Houston again. Have you been to the Orange Show? Also, make sure to visit around Fotofest, it is in March. It’s been a while since I have been past this place.

  10. I’ve heard of the beer house and never saw it. These are really neat pictures, showing awesome creativity. Thanks for this wonderful post Laurie.

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