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City Manager: Aztec Hotel Undergoing 'Challenging' Renovations

Renovations to the Aztec Hotel have proved to be challenging, according to Monrovia City Manager Laurie Lile.

From the City Manager's Weekly Report:

The Aztec Hotel, a Monrovia landmark on Foothill Blvd, has a long history in our City. The drawings to the right, captured in 1910, show the hotel as it was first presented to the community. Since then, the Aztec has had a rocky history, but always remained a beloved, sometimes controversial, building.

Last week, the Historic Preservation reviewed the first phase for the restoration of the Aztec Hotel. Agenda

The Aztec Hotel was designated Historic Landmark HL-10 on December 16, 2003. The property was also listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

In April of this year, the property was purchased and the new owner has assembled a team of professionals in various disciplines to assist in the rehabilitation of the Aztec Hotel. Over the past few months, City Staff has been working with members of their team discussing process, procedures and options for the property.

By all accounts, the future of the Aztec Hotel will be challenging. There are both preservation and land use issues that the Historic Preservation Commission and Planning Commission will review and discuss and will ultimately make recommendations to the City Council on changes requiring approval. The City has identified three guiding principles that will help to focus the development of the plan for the property.

  1. Emphasis on the preservation and restoration of the Aztec Hotel.
  2. Promote long-term economic viability of the property.
  3. Identify and permit uses that will be compatible and respectful of the neighborhood.

In May, the Historic Preservation Commission reviewed all of the components of Phase I of the plan and at that time determined which projects were classified as general repair and that would not negatively impact the historic character of the property such as the repair of the roof and which specific items require additional detailed information be submitted to them for further review and approval. The meeting on July 25 focused on those tasks which are detailed in the staff report.

The Commission discussed each item presented and also took testimony from the public. In the end, the Commission approved the majority of the request with conditions of approval which is outlined in the decision letter. In the next few weeks, there will begin to be some construction activity at the Aztec as it begins its next chapter. Stay tuned.

Monrovia Betty August 17, 2012 at 06:43 PM
Can't wait to see the progress of this building. It is a very beautiful building that has been neglected far too long. Hopefully it will get a new look and a new purpose and a fresh new life. Thank you Monrovia for preserving our history, rather than tearing it down and building over it.
Dan Crandell August 18, 2012 at 02:55 PM
This building would have made a beautiful city Library. Don't know that we would have saved any construction cost but could have given that old building a renewed purpose.
Gayle M. Montgomery August 20, 2012 at 07:25 AM
Got the opportunity to vote there a number of times, and the thing that struck me that also needed restoration is the patio area. I got the sense it could be quite lovely but had been left to languish. If not already planned for, maybe there are students at Cal Poly in their landscape area that would take it on as an intern project. Also, don't discount the use of museum studies students in restoration of any artworks or unique design elements. i'm sure the professionals may have put some part of this already into place, but having this type of internship is good for the business, the city, and definitely for the students. By virtue of their studies, they may be able to bring some of the newer technologies and techniques in preservation. The ceiling panels in the lobby were water damaged. I hope they can be saved.

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