The Beer Can House

Take one down; pass it around — and it won’t make much difference. More than 50,000 cans of beer make up the walls of the Beer Can House. John Milkovisch began building the quirky Houston landmark in the late ‘60s — way before it was cool to be green. The house still stands on a street just off Memorial Drive, but it’s been closed for seven years while The Orange Show, which purchased it in 2001, figured out how to preserve it. They’re celebrating their efforts today.

“Nobody’s ever restored a house covered in beer cans before,” The Orange Show’s Stephen Bridges says. “It’s really been a long process of figuring out how you restore something that was never really meant to last.” The organization enlisted the help of architect Julie Birsinger, who worked on everything from plumbing to foundation to keeping those cans as shiny as the day they were popped open. “It’s been her kind of figuring out [things like], ‘Does toothpaste take rust off a tin can from the late ‘60s?’” Bridges says.

Last week’s gala was the Beer Can House’s official reopening, but today’s event is for regular folks (read: free). Noon to 5 p.m.; regular viewing hours are noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. 222 Malone Street. For information, call 713-926-6368 or visit Free.
Starts: Dec. 22. Daily, 2008

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Dusti Rhodes
Contact: Dusti Rhodes