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PPN Tour Explores SMA’s Fifth Architectural Style


By Cheryl Young

According to Patronato Pro Niños Architectural Historical Tour guide Jay Moskowitz, there are five architectural styles in San Miguel de Allende, the most recent being Mexican Modern. That is the subject o Moskowitz’s tour for PPN, happening on March 15.

Jay retired to San Miguel in 2007, and he was the mastermind behind the first Architectural Historical Tours. He is still sharing his expertise and knowledge seven years later.

Jay traces the origins of the Mexican Modern style to a single Mexican individual: Luis Barragan, a formally trained engineer and self-trained architect who studied extensively in Europe. There Barragan met the globally influential Swiss-French architect Le Corbusier, considered to be the pioneer of Modern architecture.

When Barragan returned home to Mexico, he brought the ideas of the modernist master, and adapted them to a Mexican aesthetic, using vibrant colors such as canary yellow, Azul blue, and magenta juxtaposed against white; inconspicuous to nonexistent windows, preferring skylights and light wells to create shadows that move across the room over the course of the day; houses that flow like gardens; and gardens that are walled off like rooms. Barragan has been described as a master of “emotional architecture,” and his body of work as a “sublime act of poetic imagination.”

Barragan’s principal work resides in Mexico City. He designed Jardines de Pedegral, a UNESCO World Heritage site open to the public by appointment, in the southern part of the city as a wealthy enclave and his own home. He is currently prominently featured in a groundbreaking exhibit at the Los Angeles County Art Museum: Found in Translation: Design in California and Mexico, 1915–1985. The exhibit is considered a “design dialogue” between California and Mexico.

Learn more about Barragan’s influence in San Miguel by joining PPN’s Architectural Historical Tour. One hundred percent of the tour donations and tips go to support the important work of Patronato Pro Niños. For 48 years, this non-profit organization has been providing necessary medical and dental services to children in San Miguel whose families cannot afford to provide it for them. In 2017, over 12,500 children benefited from PPN services. That is more than 1,000 per month!

All tours are given in English. No reservations are needed, but we may need to limit the group size in high season. With five days’ notice, we can offer private, customized tours. Contact Christina at 415 152 7796 for information and pricing. The website is



The Architectural Historical Tour

Thu, Mar 15, 9:45am

Meet in the Jardín, across from the Parroquia

350 peso per person donation

To benefit Patronato Pro Niños


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