Known Name(s)



1639 Division Street Baltimore, Maryland

Establishment Type(s)


Physical Status



Originally a three-story three-bay red brick house with a side passage like its neighbors at 1637 & 1635, when the restaurant was started, the front entrance was placed to pass through the the center of the basement wall on the ground floor. The one over one windows in the first floor were removed or covered over and two large square windows on either side of the entrance provided exterior light. Based on the 1945 ad in the Afro American newspaper, the building's original red brick facade was initially covered over with what appears to be stucco and the ground floor was clad in white and black marble blocks with the restaurant name "Sess'" in red lettering. A second photo shows additional improvements from a later date (but possibly the late 1940s or 1950s) the facade above the marble block was covered in formstone in a brick pattern, with styilized head casing. It appears that the first floor did not extend to the front facade wall, but instead stopped just before the second bay of the first floor and also gave access to the floors above. See "Old West Baltimore" for more information.

Detailed History

Mrs. Minnie Brooks is listed as the proprietor of the Sess Restaurant, but William Sessoms and his family owned, managed and ran the business. 

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