Born in 1884, architect Robert Stacy-Judd worked during the Art Deco era, evoking Mayan and Aztec architecture in a style dubbed Mayan Revival. Stacy-Judd drafted plans for commercial buildings in his native England before designing the Aztec Hotel in Monrovia, his first commissioned work in the United States. Built as a hotel in 1924, the elaborate structure is located in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains on Historic Route 66. Today, the rambling, ornate single-room occupancy (SRO) hotel rents rooms by the week, and is home to the nostalgia-inducing Elephant Bar and Restaurant. The Aztec Hotel was named a National Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, but according to its architect, it was actually designed in the Mayan style, and isn’t Aztec after all. In fact, as Stacy-Judd’s colleague Edward Lloyd Hampton remarked in 1928, the English-American, Mayan Revival–style Aztec Hotel might just be “the only building in the United States that is 100 percent American.” 311 W. Foothill Blvd., Monrovia. —Tanja M. Laden

LA Weekly