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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.

VISIT THE BEER CAN HOUSE

THE BEER CAN HOUSE IS OPEN SATURDAYS & SUNDAYS FROM 1PM-5PM

Admission is $5 and can be purchased in advance HERE.  Children under 12 are FREE.

 

NOTE: The Beer Can House is a No Open Carry site. Pursuant to Section 30.07 we reserve the right to ask you to leave should you openly carry a firearm onto the premises.

Beer Can House Exterior front entrance - photo by David Brown, dabfoto.jpg
Visit
Tour
GROUP TOURS & FIELD TRIPS

The Beer Can House is a perfect place for field trips designed to explore the artist in everyone! We can custom-design an unforgettable experience that includes guided tours and hands-on workshops that will be sure to make an impact. If you would like more information about fields trips and group tours to the Beer Can House, fill out the form below and we'll contact you shortly!

Beer Can House Exterior side fence - photo by David Brown, dabfoto.jpg

Thanks for your interest in field trips & group tours of The Orange Show! We will respond shortly!

HISTORY OF THE BEER CAN HOUSE

"John considered his work an enjoyable pastime rather than a work of art, but he did enjoy people's reaction to his creations."

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."

Download the complete history of the Beer Can House HERE

John & Mary Milkovisch - photo by Janice Rubin 2008.jpg
History
ConservationCrafts
BEER CAN HOUSE CONSERVATION & CRAFTS

Meets the Last Sunday of the Month from 9am-12pm

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John Milkovisch spent countless hours of leisure time in his yard creating the Beer Can House. In John’s day, the can motif was only one aspect of his now-iconic visionary art environment. He and his wife Mary also filled the yard with plants and flowers that hung from the trees, occupied ceramic vessels, and grew in raised beds. As the neighborhood has changed, the property at 222 Malone remains a time capsule of Houston’s vernacular architecture from the early 20th century, with a surprise around every corner. 

The Beer Can House Conservation & Crafts Crew is an opportunity for volunteers to meet up at The Beer Can House one morning a month to learn, teach, and help maintain this important folk art landmark. Join us to pull some weeds, unravel some tangled can garlands, and learn some new restoration skills. No experience required and all ages welcome!

 

Our Beer Can House Conservation & Crafts Crew meets the last Sunday of the month from 9am-12pm. See below for our Spring 2024 schedule and sign up to participate!

Upcoming Beer Can House Conservation & Crafts Crew Meetup Dates

Click on a date below to sign up to attend

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Restoration
RESTORATION OF THE BEER CAN HOUSE
Beer Can House Interior original hanging panel - photo by David Brown, dabfoto.jpg

The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art acquired the Beer Can House after creator John Milkovisch and his wife, Mary, passed away. Diligent documentation and planning over the next few years determined a comprehensive plan to restore the site to its former glory.

Unfortunately, time and Houston’s climate are always fading and deteriorating John’s original art work. The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art’s intent was to carefully restore this work to its original condition where possible and to recreate artistic elements where necessary, bringing back the delightful ambiance of the site.

Volunteers from the local neighborhood, to the far reaches of Houston’s suburbs, and even across the country were an integral part of creating these new beer can elements. In 2008, the site opened to visitors for guided and self-guided tours that feature the history of the Beer Can House, the Rice Military neighborhood, John’s artistic techniques and Folk Art in Texas. Preservation of the Beer Can House is an ongoing project for the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art.

Generous support from the The Brown FoundationHouston EndowmentThe Cullen FoundationThe National Endowment for the ArtsSilver Eagle Distributors, as well as in-kind contributions from SpawMaxwell and Apollo BBC, Inc. helpied make this project a success.

Reconstruction services and supplies were donated by Spaw-Maxwell.

Beer Can House

Restoration Committee

Allen Caudle

Barbara Hinton

Caroline Huber

Douglas Newman

Fred Brecht

Gloria Perez

John Waits

Julie Birsinger

Lynn Herbert

Maria Moss

Marilyn Oshman

Marks Hinton

Stephanie Smither

Stephen Bridges

Susanne Theis

Renovation Team, Consultants, and Friends

SpawMaxwell

Apollo BBC

TGK + Associates

WhiteboardLabs

Mr. and Mrs. Siml

Rice Military Civic Club

All of our hard working volunteers

Renovation Team, Consultants, and Friends

Houston Endowment

The Brown Foundation

National Endowment for the Arts

The Cullen Foundation

Silver Eagle Distributors

Photo Tour
PHOTO TOUR OF THE BEER CAN HOUSE
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