On April 13,1861, U. S. Army Major Robert Anderson surrendered Ft. Sumter, Charleston,South Carolina, to the Confederacy. On April 27th, the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates convened at Kemp Hall, corner of E. Church and N. Market Streets, Frederick, to discuss whether Maryland should follow the southern states and secede from the Union. The senators and delegates never voted on the issue. Lincoln had his troops arrest the pro-Secessionists members of the Maryland General Assembly, preventing the august body from having the necessary quorum for taking a vote.
The building is a distinctive revival building of approximately 1860 with arched window heads and wide, bracketed cornice. It is connected by a lower, setback hyphen with circular window to the third building, along Church. This building is slightly lower than the hyphen building, which in turn is slightly lower than the main building. Only the main building has arched windows. The glass store front covers the N. Market St. facade and part of the Church St. facade, which has later brickwork.