There are several UNESCO World Heritage sites around Mexico City that are easy to visit. This guide to the Luis Barragan House in Mexico City will help you add this gorgeous location to your itinerary.
Visiting the Luis Barragán House and Studio
In order to see the museum an advance reservation is highly recommended. Tours are small and sell out quickly. It is also imperative that guests arrive on time to be allowed on the tour. The location of his house and studio is in the nondescript Daniel Garza sector of Mexico. Since this neighborhood is still a working class neighborhood, there is not really any street parking available. When I visited I called an UBER and it worked out great.
Photographing at this UNESCO World Heritage site
During the planning stages for this visit, I wasn’t 100% confident I would be able to make images inside this UNESCO World Heritage Site. One website stated that photography wasn’t allowed but I had also read on a trip review website that you could photograph if you paid extra money. I have traveled quite a bit and I am accustomed to places and people having shifting regulations based on, nothing really. Simple things such as how the person at the gate feels that morning can change if you can use a tripod or not, if video is allowed or not, or if any of the posted regulations will or won’t be enforced. Some of the online reviews I had read mentioned that they felt the staff at the Luis Barragán House and Studio were unsympathetic and rude. Since there was nothing on the website indicating that I could pay extra money and get a pass to photograph I really had no idea what to expect.
I contemplated calling ahead of time but since I would go there regardless, I decided to not worry too much about it. I knew I could work it out and my plan B would work as well. If photography wasn’t allowed I wasn’t going to try to “sneak” photos to use for this project. My plan then would be to visit again on one of my many return trips to Mexico and plan way in advance and seek larger permissions to photograph as an artist.
Make the best of an unknown situation
For this first visit, I was confident that the time slot I purchased a ticket for was strict and that late comers might not be allowed in and that I probably wouldn’t be able to reschedule if I missed my time because there weren’t that many spots available and my itinerary in Mexico City that week was already full. My plan to give myself the largest possible chance of getting to photograph at this location was to get there early, speak to someone on staff, understand the rules and, if necessary, pay whatever I had to in order to shoot. I did get there early but no one was allowed in before 10 minutes prior to their scheduled time. I milled around outside and waited. 10 minutes prior, I was the first one through the door and started working out the photo permission situation.
It all worked out in the end
I would be allowed to photograph if I signed a paper that stated images weren’t to be used for commercial purposes and I paid 500.00 pesos. There were a few minor issues that ate up the precious time leading up to the tour start time though. Their printer was out of paper and the internet connection to charge my credit card was down. After their printer was given more paper and I quickly handed over the 500.00 pesos in cash, I was able to sign the document, get a receipt and be given a huge photo badge to wear around my neck. I joined the tour just a couple of paces behind, exploding on the inside that everything worked out and I would be able to photograph this UNESCO World Heritage site.