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.
serious aluminum siding. I love the new banner. Very sleek and polished looking–yet inviting on account of the charming mug…:)
This is one of the most curious things I’ve seen!
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! 😀
Amazing what a little ingenuity and a powerful thirst (in this case, both for recycling and beer!) can do. Great share! 😀
I’ve seen this fascinating place on television. I wonder what it sounds like when the wind blows!
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.
Amazing I’m so pleased to see that it is being preserved…
I’m speechless. This is so creative and unusual. Loved it. Many thanks.
Greetings from London.
Amazing. I like your new format – very easy on the eye.
The Bonus Inspiration site is phenomenal. As is the Beer House. Not quite so dramatic, but along the same lines, is New Zealand’s paua shell house http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/photograph/37326/fred-flutey-in-his-paua-shell-house-bluff
Wow! Amazing how people can be so creative with just about anything!
The house is certainly unique. I like that he has created something that speaks to his individuality.
All the time when I see something like that I am surprised how creative people are.
Fascinating house! I wonder what the neighbors think? 😉
Now that’s creative!! I am forwarding this to my beer loving son! Maybe he can make a house!
Ingenious! Worth taking up beer drinking for 🙂 Wonder what I can do with a few wine bottles?
Great shots, Laurie!
This is soooo cool!!
Those beer cans look so pretty! What a wonderful creative imagination.
This is amazing!!!
Interesting, just not sure I’d want to live next door…
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!
Impressive, a fascinating story and yeah imagination is a wonderful thing – very well captured… 🙂
Very interesting. I am wonder whether his neighbor thoughts on this.
Oh can you imagine the neighbors thoughts!! Smile…
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.
this is cool and what a way to recycle – I do like your new header on your site
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.
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
Another fabulous post! I enjoy your blog and look forward to every one of your posts! 🙂
You always find such interesting places to share, Laurie. You must move 100 miles a minute! xo my friend
Awesome post! What an interesting house. Great link – thanks for sharing it! 😀
Fascinating share, Laurie. Just goes to show how inspirational, beer drinking can be. Hi, Tarzan! 🙂
Some people are so imaginative!
Well … that was some undertaking, with a lot of *fun along the way I should imagine Laurie !
over 50,000 cans, wow!! Thank you for the interesting post, Laurie!
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….
Sounds tasty! I wonder if it smells like beer too…
Totally putting this on the list of things to do when we go to Houston!! How cool!
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*
“Jane thinks Tarzan is just the peaches cream, always willing and able.♥” Awww! I love love. And I love people who show it! Tarzan and Jane are such a good example! ;oP
WOW! Amazing house. Thanks for sharing.
BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!
Great photos and very interesting. I learened about something new.
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.
Thank you for the heads up on the Orange Show. Not sure if I will be there in March or not. Always nice to see you.
It spans several weeks, look up the schedule.
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.
This is so unique… bet he had fun collecting all the cans… has anyone estimated how much he spent on beer.??
That is amazing!! Wow!!
Awesome and unique, but how could he stack the cans after drinking that much alcohol?LOL
Wonderfully creative and also perseverance and vision. Thanks for the introduction to his artful project.
That is so great. What a find Laurie…thanks for showing us this place.
What an incredibly creative mind to think of something like this!
That’s a lot of work that went into that! And I forgot about the pull tabs! Tarzan is indeed, nice to Jane. 🙂 Fun pictures!
Fascinating! Thanks for sharing.
That is awesome Laurie! Imagination is a wonderful thing. Think of how many people are enjoying his work of art! Thanks for sharing! XO