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The Burlington Hotel, Haymarket Sydney

Burlington Hotel, Hatmarket, Sydney, October 1930. Photo: Noel Butlin Archives, Australian National University.

THE Great Western Coffee Palace was designed by Sydney City Architect and built at the corner of Hay Street and Sussex Street, Haymarket in 1914 by the Sydney City Council as a ‘ temperance hotel’.

It was located on land resumed for slum clearance. The Great Western Coffee Palace was licensed to sell liquor in 1916, and was known as the Hotel Burlington.

The hotel was closed and the building was converted into the Kien Hay Centre / Burlington Centre (431 – 439 Sussex St), containing retail and offices, in the 1980s.

Burlington Hotel Sydney 1970 ANU

The Burlington Hotel, 1970, shortly before its closure as a pub. Photo: Noel Butlin Archives, Australian National University.


Hotel Tragedy

The bar of the Burlington Hotel in the 1950s

The bar of the Burlington Hotel in the 1950s

AFTER taking poison in a bedroom at the Hotel Burlington, at the corner of Hay and Sussex-streets, yesterday evening, Desmond James Goret, aged 33, of Muswellbrook, and Mary Pearl Elsley (24), of the Nurse Scott Memorial Hospital, Scone, were found in a dying condition.

Goret was in bed in his pyjamas. Alongside him was an empty whisky bottle containing poison crystals.

Miss Elsley, fully dressed, lay on the floor.

They were conveyed to hospital,where both were found to be dead.

  • The Braidwood Review Tuesday 26 November 1929
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Categories: NSW hotels, Sydney hotels

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8 replies

  1. My grandmother was murdered in room 96 at the Burlington Hotel in 1973. I wish there were more photos online from that time period. Her case has never been solved.

    • Thanks for your comment, Lezza1975. Sad story. I’ve added a 1970 photo of the hotel to the post. This would have been close to what the hotel looked like at the time of your grandmother’s death in 1974. Do you have further details on her death? What was your grandmother’s name?

      • Thank you Mick. I will check that photo out. Do you happen to have any pictures of what the hotel rooms looked like in the 70s? It really is a sad story. Her name was Elaine Beverly King (or Elaine King). If you google her name the story will come up with all the known details. Unfortunately they are not pleasant. She lived a very rough life. Her case was reopened about 8 years ago now after I wrote to the Sydney Cold Case department. The was no Next of Kin listed in her file until I wrote to inquire, so her case had been dormant for many years. Now there is a $100,000 reward for information leading to an arrest. Justine Ford also included her story in her book Unsolved Australia.

  2. I worked there in the 60s and early 70s for Sue and Rod, and her father (who was not as tolerant as Sue and Rod). Many fond memories of working here, and the market men.

    • Hi Kay, you probably met my grandmother during that time. She was murdered there in 1974, but apparently frequented there often. Her name was Elaine Beverly King, but she went by Bev. Unfortunately she wasn’t living the best life, but she was a good person at heart. Would love to know if you remember her. Thanks – Kerry

  3. Thanks Kerry, I left Sydney in 1972 and I don’t remember your grandmother off the top of my head. We looked up her story and it was a sad one. I remember bar maids Wendy and Pam, who I am still friends with.

    • Thank you for responding Kay. Yes, a very sad story. People making bad life choices still matter though, which is why I have continued looking for answers. Would love to know if Wendy or PAM may remember her. I was born in 1975, so never met her in person but I am her granddaughter and think about her almost daily. Someone took her life in the most horrific way and I will never stop looking for answers. Thank you again for answering ~ Kerry

  4. I have spoken to both of my friends. Pam can’t remember, Wendy remembers the case but she did not know your grandmother. Good luck finding out more.

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