Australia - Sydney: Petty's Hotel, 1 York Street
Petty’s Hotel, located at 1 York Street, Sydney, was where May Sladden and her aunt, Charlotte (Lottie) Hayward, were staying prior to their return to England after visiting relatives in New Zealand, and where May’s Uncle Dilnot (Lottie’s brother) died when he had come to bid them farewell.
Petty’s Hotel was opened in 1842 by Thomas Petty and advertised itself as conveniently located to the Botanic Gardens, Theatres, Post and Telegraph Office and the Termini of Foreign and Inter-colonial Steamship Lines. The building had previously been the residence of Presbyterian minister, John Dunmore Lang, who supervised the construction of the first Scot’s Church.
The hotel’s verandahs and balconies were described as “charming retreats” from which guests could take in views of the city. In The Handbook of Sydney and Suburbs published in 1883, it was described as:
“the resort of the most distinguished visitors to Sydney, including English and French Noblemen ….. It is also the rendévous for all the wealthy squatters of New South Wales, Victoria, New Zealand, and the other colonies ….. It contains about forty bedrooms, several private apartments, bath rooms, billiard room etc. The situation is central and has an almost suburban quietude. The tastefully laid out garden in front gives it all the appearance of a gentleman’s mansion.”
Petty’s Hotel closed for business in 1950, having been sold to the Red Cross. The elegant colonial structure was finally demolished in 1976.