According to the encyclopedic dictionary "The Assembly of the Nobility is a self-governing body of the nobility in the Russian Empire in 1785-1917. The Assemblies were categorized into Governorate (Guberniya) and District (Uyezd) ones. The Assemblies took place once every three years. These bodies were designed to solve the affairs of the nobility, local affairs, elected Marshals of Nobility, district police officers etc. After the Emancipation reform of 1860-s the Assembly dealt mainly with the affairs of the nobility".
Ufa Assembly of the Nobility (also named Gentry Assembly) was established in 1819. Before 1854 it occupied a private house. The Assembly consisted of full members who paid annual fees, and honorary members. The Assemblies were hosted by the chairmen ("starshina"), who were elected every year in December.
This building was fully constructed in 1856, the project was designed by a local architect Gopius. The first floor was decorated with a tasteful entrance vestibule featuring an attic. The arched windows of the second floor were separated by the engaged columns. The attic (a low wall above the top cornice) was decorated with a coat of arms of Ufa Governorate: a running marten.
In certain days the Assembly hosted dance and family parties, masquerades, balls, as well as dramatic performances and concerts featuring amateur choirs. Sergei Yelpatyevsky, a doctor in Ufa and at Blagoveshchensk factory in 1880-1884, noticed that routs (festive dinner parties) were a favorite form of parties: "Men wearing white ties, ladies in low neck dresses walked through six or seven rooms, exchanged pleasantries and discussed news from Petersburg".
It was not uncommon for someone to play the piano. "Ufimskiye gubernskiye novosti" (Ufa Governorate News) in 1868 informed their readers about the performance of Vera Timanova: "On Monday, February 19, the hall of the Ufa City Council hosted a concert of the young and talented pianist, featuring Mr. Novitsky playing the piano and Misters Mizcher and Klevensky playing the violin".
The Assembly of the Nobility readily responded to important events of the state. On April 21, 1985 in order to celebrate the one hundredth anniversary of the Letters patent issued by the Empress Catherine II to the Russian nobility, the Assembly decided to establish a scholarship to support one of the poorest students of Mariinsky Girls Gymnasium. Besides, it was decided to "purchase a full-length portrait of the Empress Catherine II and install it in the hall of the Assembly". The portrait was made by Ufa artist Shepelev, whereas the "elegant richly gilt frame" was made by a local iconostasis artist Trapeznikov.
In 1885 the building was occupied by the "Society of singing, music and scenic art amateurs", consisting of the nobility, officials and intellectuals. The 1891 plays staged by the members of the society featured young singer Feodor Chaliapin, and it was mentioned in his autobiographical book. The building now bears a reminder of that: a commemorative plaque at the façade of the building, as well as a monument of the great singer nearby.
Since August 15, 1902 till 1905 the building was occupied by the central bookstore. The house had rooms to be lodged to visitors. In the library visitors could take books, newspapers and magazines; the Assembly members could use the library free of charge.
On June 30, 1908 the hall of the Assembly of the Nobility featured a special meeting of all the strata of the city, which decided to use voluntary donations to build an Aksakov People's House.
The Assembly of the Nobility was annihilated in 1917. Later this building was occupied by a Central Communist Club, Soviet Trading Club, and a library. Now the building is occupied by the Academy of Arts.