Houston’s Iconic Beer Can House by the Numbers
May 1, 2020

Houston’s Iconic Beer Can House by the Numbers

by The CE Shop Team

Draped With Tens of Thousands of Beer Cans, This Might Be Houston’s Most Notable House

They say Keep Austin Weird, but if you really want to explore or express your eccentricities, you should be in Houston. A perfect brew of lax zoning laws, reasonably priced real estate, and Texas-sized personalities, Houston is the type of place where your land is essentially your land, and if your prerogative is to drape your house in thousands of beer cans, then so be it. At least that was the m.o. of one John Milkovisch, a retired upholsterer of the South Pacific Railroad, who covered his house with an estimated 50,000 beer cars.

Beer Can House by She-a Xo

Known as one of Houston’s most-visited ‘art installations’, the house attracts visitors and locals alike who are enamored by the shiny, folksy feat. As for us? We couldn’t help but think of things in terms of the numbers, which are as follows:

Total number of beer cans: 50,000+

According to RecycleUSAInc.com, the average empty aluminum can weighs about 14.9 grams. That means the property is home to 1,642 lbs of aluminum cans, which has a recycling value of approximately $492.73.

Period of time to amass those cans: 17 years

A quick calculation shows that it took amassing 2,941 beer cars per year to complete, or an average of 8 beer cans per day. Not to worry, Milkovisch didn’t act alone. He had the help of his wife and neighbors.

What it would take to recreate:

Interviews with Milkovisch reveal that while he enjoyed his fair share of Pabst Blue Ribbon, brands varied among whatever was on sale. In today’s prices, 50,000 cans of Pabst would run you about $25,000.

One Very Understanding Wife:

Beyond tolerating the absurdity of it all, his wife Mary often threw back a few cold ones with John, friends, and neighbors, adding to the total number of cans. They also gave up their entire attic and garage space to store cans.

Sadly John passed away in 1988 but his legacy lives on. Today, the house is owned by The Orange Show Center for Visionary Art, a non-profit whose mission is “to preserve and present works of extraordinary imagination”, which lets you go into the property and learn more about the personalities behind it.

For new and existing real estate professionals looking to help homebuyers find a place to build their eccentric dream houses, now is the time to get or renew your license and establish yourself as the go-to real estate expert in Houston. Enroll in The CE Shop’s Pre-Licensing program to get your license or keep going strong with one of our comprehensive Continuing Education packages today.


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