Inspired by my recent visit to The Autry‘s Route 66: The Road and the Romance (exhibit runs through January 4, 2015), I headed out last week to view a local bit of this history. I’ve been by the Aztec Hotel in Monrovia countless times over the years. The architectural stylings of the old building intrigue, but it’s not in use and looking increasingly run down. So I snapped a few photos just in case its days are numbered. (Hopefully not. It was designated a National Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.)
The Aztec Hotel is quirky and a well-known example of Mayan Revival architecture, which was popular during the 1920’s and ’30’s. The style was inspired by the iconography of ancient Meso-American cultures.
The hotel opened in 1925 and was the first commissioned work in the U. S. by English architect, Robert Stacy-Judd. He styled the hotel’s facade, interiors, and furniture in ways that incorporated abstract patterns inspired by Mayan motifs with then-popular Art Deco.
Over the years, celebrities and ghosts alike have frequented the ornate Aztec. It was a fancy and well-known stop along the Mother Road. Today, the status of the tired-looking hotel seems unclear. Over a year ago there appeared to be a serious move to renovate rooms, re-open the old Elephant Bar restaurant, and keep fans engaged with a lively FB page. But that seems to have died down, and the property now sports an “in limbo” look to passersby. If any readers know more about plans for the old Aztec Hotel, please feel free to comment. An update would be great.
In the meantime, Monrovia’s Aztec Hotel is still quite photogenic . . . and I was happy to grab a few new snaps: