Sans Souci Building
San Souci Building
Built Circa Year: Built Circa 1840
Address: 219 East Vermilion Street
National Register of Historic Places: Lafayette Historic Register Number 058
Historic Register Listing:Designated March 20, 2003

The Sans Souci building may be the oldest commercial building in Lafayette’s downtown area. While the actual construction date is not known, the building has a long history within the community. At the time of its construction, the property was on the outskirts of town, and it welcomed guests to town as the Lafayette Inn. It later served as Lafayette’s first post office. Over the years it was home to a restaurant, a carpenter’s store, a grocery market, a tinsmith shop, a cobbler, and a newspaper publisher. It was built by Richard Chargois, who was an early business leader in Lafayette. It remained in the Chargois family until 1940. In 1940, Mrs. Frederick Nehrbass purchased the property, saving the building from demolition. She rehabilitated the building and opened an antiques store. In 1943, Mrs. Nehrbass opened the Sans Souci Bookstore with the help of Ms. Edith Garland Dupré, founder of UL Lafayette’s Dupré Library. The bookstore remained in operation for several decades. In 2001, the building became home to Louisiana Crafts Guild, and in 2022, the Lafayette Public Trust Financing Authority, the building’s owner, funded a restoration project to ensure the long-term health of the building.