Houston home morphs into landmark, one beer at a time

A visitor leaves the back entrance to the beer can house, a Houston landmark, Wednesday, July 10, 2013. Former owner John Milkovisch covered the outside on the house with siding made of cut and flatten beer cans and garlands made from the lids. The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art, a local nonprofit that preserves art installations in the city, bought the property about 10 years ago, restored the house and it opened it to the public. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)
Pat Sullivan

HOUSTON The life's work of a child of the Great Depression has become a Houston folk art landmark.

The former home of John and Mary Milkovisch is covered in flattened beer cans and can-top garlands.

The Beer Can House is open to the public and being restored by the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art, a Houston nonprofit.

Milkovisch began the project in 1968, when he purchased a metal canopy and decorated the backyard so he and his wife could have a shaded area to enjoy their afternoon beers.

Slowly, he worked his way to the front, eventually spending 17 months coating the house in empty beer cans.

Restoration head Ruben Guevara says Milkovisch never understood the fascination with his home.

A wind chime made from strips cut from old beer cans hangs outside the Beer Can House, a Houston landmark, Wed., July 10, 2013.
AP Photo/Pat Sullivan