Aztec Motel


Phyllis Evans  |  dates unknown  |  Albuquerque, NM

Embellished environment  |  Created 1994

Along Historic Route 66 and all of the great old neon motel signs, there is one particular motel that caught my attention…the Aztec Motel.  Not only is the signage eye-popping, but the motel itself is a work of art.  Built in 1931, it is the oldest surviving Route 66 motel in New Mexico.  It changed ownership over the years until in 1991 Mohamed Natha bought the building.  A Michigan State University professor, Phyllis Evans, was living there at the time, and in 1994 began to  decorate the exterior as a retirement project.  She covered the buildings with tiles, paintings, crosses and musical instruments.  Outside the rooms are small altar-like tables with candles and various objects d’ arte.