History of Sans Souci, Home of the Louisiana Crafts Guild
The Sans Souci building may be the oldest commercial building surviving the Lafayette’s downtown area. Built circa 1840, the actual construction date is not known, but the building’s long history within the community is certain. Built by Richard Chargois, an early business leader in Lafayette, it remained in the Chargois family until 1943.
At the time of its construction, the property was located on the outskirts of Lafayette and the building welcomed guests as the Lafayette Inn. It was also a carpenter’s store, a grocery market, a tinsmith shop, and housed Lafayette’s first post office and newspaper. This memorable wooden building is named for the Sans Souci Bookstore, opened in 1943 by the woman who established the UL Lafayette campus library, Ms. Edit Garland Dupre.
Renovations were completed in 2001, and the structure now resides in the urban park that was built around it and shares its name. The building was designated historic property in 2003 and today the “Sans Souci Fine Crafts Gallery” serves as the “home” of the Louisiana Crafts Guild and offers fine handmade original art and crafts from the members of the Louisiana Crafts Guild.