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How one man's daily 6-pack built this house in Houston

John Milkovisch, the architect behind the Beer Can House, wanted to turn his drinking habit into something instantly memorable.

This episode of the KERA video series "The Shape of Texas" explores the unique design of Houston's Beer Can House, where aluminum cans are repurposed to cover nearly every surface of a house.

Aluminum tops and tabs jingle in the Texas breeze on the front patio. Nearly 30,000 cans went into the construction of the Beer Can House, a popular tourist attraction outside of downtown Houston. Former upholsterer John Milkovisch needed a way to turn his six-pack-a-day beer habit into an artistic outlet. Tired of painting his house, he began cutting, affixing, and welding beer cans to the base of his house, which eventually grew to cover the whole property.

After Milkovisch's death, the property was bought by the Orange Show Foundation, who turned the house's interior into a folk art museum.

A quote by Milkovisch himself is painted inside the museum that encapsulates the Beer Can House perfectly.

"They say every man should leave something to be remembered by. At least I accomplished that goal."

KERA's “The Shape of Texas” video series explores how our built environment holds our history, reflects our diverse cultures and projects our ambitions for the future. From the glittery, kitschy Beer Can House in Houston to the soaring Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, architecture helps tell the story of who we are in Texas.

Find out more about the Beer Can House including interviews with the creator's wife, Mary Milkovisch.

Max Chow-Gillette is the Fall 2022 Art&Seek intern.