In a nondescript, somewhat down-on-its-heels neighborhood, you'll find this extraordinary display of outsider art, the work of a single man, a Houston postal worker named Jeff McKissack. Wishing to extol the health benefits of his favorite fruit—and hard work—McKissack labored for 25 years, constructing an elaborate, rambling, whimsical structure out of materials and objects (wagon wheels, tiles, flagpoles, tractor seats) that he scrapped from junkyards and abandoned buildings. Academics might refer to the creation as a "folk art environment" or a "self-made world," like the Watts Towers in Los Angeles, but for McKissack it was a way of life and a gift that he wanted to share with the entire world.

When he died in 1980, the colorful 3,000-square-foot complex languished until a group of local art patrons, including members of ZZ Top, started a foundation to preserve the Orange Show and promote like-minded endeavors. Today the foundation also hosts tours of the Beer Can House, spearheads the wildly popular Art Car Parade, and is currently working on Smither Park, a family-friendly, folk art-inspired park and playground on the half-acre next to the Orange Show.