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Beer Can House: Houston Home's Outdoor Decor Draws Attention

Image: Beer Can House: Houston Home's Outdoor Decor Draws Attention

Monday, 29 Jul 2013 02:04 PM

By Clyde Hughes

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Houston's Beer Can House became a work of inspiration for the late John Milkovisch, but it was also a way to use all of those beer cans that had been piling up in his attic for years.

Today, some estimated 50,000 beer cans later, the Orange Show Center for Visionary Art is restoring the home, located near Houston's scenic Memorial Park according to the Beer Can House website.

The site said the center's intent is 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."

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The Associated Press said that when aluminum siding on houses became the in thing, Milkovisch conjured up an idea in 1968, dragging down saved cans and flattening them to cover his home.

The home, made up of Budweiser, Texas Pride, and Shiner, among many others, has become a landmark.

"It shows the human nature of the individual is supreme," neighbor Patrick Louque told the AP about the home. "You can take the simplest thing, and it can actually affect a lot of other people. It's totally grabbed me, and it's probably totally grabbed the imagination of more people than I could possibly imagine."

For Milkovisch, a retired upholsterer for the Southern Pacific Railroad, the original idea may not have been as grand as firing up the imagination of future artists.

"Some people say this is sculpture but I didn't go to no expensive school to get these crazy notions," John Milkovisch is quoted as saying on the front page of the Beer Can House website.

Milkovisch, who died in the mid-1980s, first began redecorating the home's exterior when he purchased a metal canopy for his backyard so he and his wife, Mary, could have some shade while drinking their afternoon beers, the AP said.

He then turned his attention to the front, using discarded items from the railroad track nearby. The news service said Mary, who passed away in the mid-1990s, gave him free rein to do whatever he pleased outside.

"He used cans, bottles, marbles, redwood," Ruben Guevara, head of restoration and preservation of the Beer Can House, told The Associated Press. "He drank a lot of beer, him and Mary, and he collected all the beer cans that he would drink. He stored them because he knew he was going to use them, but he didn't know for what."

The home is open to tourists and guided tours can be arranged.

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