The first Ufa girls' school was opened on December 18, 1860. It featured a 6-year course resembling that of a gymnasium. The class consisted of 25 girls. In June 1865 the school was transformed into a gymnasium. It was named after the Empress Maria Fedorovna (spouse of Emperor Paul I), who was the patroness of girls' educational institutions in Russia. As distinct from boys' schools, girls' school curriculum did not include ancient languages. The courses of mathematics, literature theory and of some other subjects were limited, because one of the major tasks of this school was to prepare girls for "family duties".
Mariinsky Girls Gymnasium was an open institution for descendants of all social classes. It had valuable physics and naturalist rooms and considerable libraries. The Gymnasium offered a 7 year course, but in order to be able to pursue with a teaching career, the alumni had to study one additional year. The Gymnasium was supported by the district authorities (zemstvo), city council, state treasury and tuition fees paid by the parents.
In 1876 the Gymnasium had 214 students, in 1898 the figure raised up to 313, in 1900 there were 395 students. The alumni could work in the capacity of village teachers.
Upon the emergence of the gymnasium it became a tradition to financially support the girls' school. On December 19, 1868 the Governorate Assembly of the Nobility obliged every landowner of Ufa Governorate (Guberniya) to donate 1 kopeck per ten dessyatins (approximately ten hectares) of land in favor of the girls' school. In 1875 the Gymnasium established a scholarship to commemorate the tenth anniversary of Orenburg Governor-General Nikolay Kryzhanovsky in office. In April 1883 the Governorate Assembly of the Nobility decided to establish a Catherine II scholarship to support one of the poorest gymnasium students of noble descent. Every year the Governorate district council devoted funds to train teachers. In 1893 it established 12 scholarships for poorest alumni of the pedagogical classes.
Besides, well-off citizens established an "Association of Support to Ufa Mariinsky Gymnasium Students in Need" affiliated with the Gymnasium.
By the late 19th century Girls' Gymnasium occupied two wooden buildings at the intersection of Golubinaya (Pushkinskaya) and Telegrafnaya (Tsuryupy) Streets. The classes were given in the building donated by Varvata Bazilevskaya, spouse of Ivan Bazylevskiy. The small one-storey building required constant repairs. That is why in 1883 local authorities requested a loan from the Ministry of Public Education to erect a new building. In early 1894 the loan was approved and construction started in spring of the same year to be finished in three years. The project was submitted by Pavel Rudavsky and turned out to be very costly. Additional funds were collected by the Gymnasium through donations of private persons. The most significant contribution was made by honorary citizens Bazilevskiy, Vidineev and Blokhin.
The building may be referred to neo-classicism. It is a symmetric building with central avant-corps topped with a pediment, as well as a window arcade. This architectural feature, doubtlessly, was taken from the Guest Court or Sakharov's House on Uspenskaya Street. Nevertheless, the dome above the central part of the building is a bright example of Art Nouveau architecture (Paris and Prague theaters, Comedy Theater on Nevsky prospekt and Vitebsky Station in Saint-Petersburg). That is why it is most likely to describe the building as an "academic eclecticism". In subsequent project by Rudkovsky (Aksakov People's House) the dome was a tribute to the 20th century theater architecture, but within the gymnasium project the dome was an extraordinary solution.
Mariinsky Girls Gymnasium maintained its status until 1918, when the first soviet school was arranged in the building. Since 1934 it was school No.3, currently it is named gymnasium No.3.