Putting aside all the slogans about peace and martyrdom, WHY did a 51-year-old San Gabriel Valley mother and housewife drive downtown last Sunday on a blazing hot afternoon to drench her body in two gallons of gasoline, strike a match and die alone and screaming in a silent Civic Center?
Inside the Sans Souci Temple. Photo by Ron Miller
“Perhaps the most exciting of the many places that transient and newly arriving hippies are finding to sleep is in the Sans Souci Temple. Located at 1039 Ardmore, it is a 90-year-old example of the Freaky Los Angeles Spiritualist School of architecture. The castle or temple or whatever it may be is famous throughout the underground culture for its complete dedication to ultra-psychedelic interior and exterior decoration. Every square inch is covered with original artwork.
The Ardmore Place, as it is simply called, has been undergoing repair by its occupants for months to escape condemnation proceedings threatened by the city. It still needs extensive work, however, and funds are raised for this work at Saturday dances. Additional income resulted recently from its use as a location for a Peter Fonda movie.
There are sometimes as many as 50 people crashing on a one-night basis on mattresses and rugs at the Ardmore Place, under the sponsorship of the Diggers’ Creative Society. They sleep at no charge, signing in with a standard disclaimer. No food is served.
In addition, small flats are rented to those who can pay $45 to $90 a month for a little privacy and a more permanent resting place in the stimulating environment of Sans Souci Temple.” — Max Stern, Los Angeles Free Press (1967)