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Manitoba Historical Society
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Memorable Manitobans: Max Zev Blankstein (1873-1931)

Architect.

Born at Odessa, Russia in 1873, where he received architectural training, he emigrated to Canada in 1904 and was among the first Jewish architects to register and practise. He married Laika “Lena” Golden (1881-1959) and they had seven children: Sarah Blankstein (1902-?), Isaac Wolfe Blankstein (1904-1990), Cecil Blankstein, Eva Blankstein, Evelyn Blankstein, Morley Blankstein, and Fred “Ingy” Blankstein (1921-2018), three of whom became architects. He died at his Winnipeg home, 131 Machray Avenue, on 31 December 1931 and was buried in the Shaarey Zedek Cemetery.

The holdings of the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada include drawings by Blankstein of one of Winnipeg’s most iconic buildings, the Uptown Theatre.

Some of his architectural works in Manitoba:

Building

Location

Year

Status

Aikins Court

167 Aikins Street, Winnipeg

1907

 

Queen’s Theatre (renovation)

239 Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg

1908-1909

 

Minuk Block

254-260 Dufferin Avenue, Winnipeg

1909

Demolished (?)

Winnipeg Cold Storage Building

422 Jarvis Avenue, Winnipeg

1909

 

Galsky Block

656 Aberdeen Avenue, Winnipeg

1910

 

Glesby Stables

468 Aberdeen Avenue, Winnipeg

1910

 

Chechik, Gold and Kernham Cold Storage Warehouse

422 Jarvis Avenue, Winnipeg

1910

 

Northern Block

94 McGregor Street, Winnipeg

1910

Demolished (?)

Winnipeg Cold Storage Building (addition)

422 Jarvis Avenue, Winnipeg

1910

 

Budnik Block

594-600 Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg

1911

 

Continental Block

796 Main Street, Winnipeg

1911

 

Palace Theatre

501 Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg

1912

 

Winnipeg Hebrew Free School (Talmud Torah)

121 Charles Street, Winnipeg

1912

 

Brandon Court

377 Brandon Avenue, Winnipeg

1912

 

Alekno Block

376 Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg

1913

 

Steiman Block

541 Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg

1913

 

Talbot Block

250 Talbot Avenue, Winnipeg

1913

 

Zimmerman Block

669 Main Street, Winnipeg

1913

 

Alekno Block (renovations)

376 Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg

1914

 

Cohen Block

426-428 Manitoba Avenue, Winnipeg

1914

Demolished (?)

Diner Block

184 Henry Avenue, Winnipeg

1914

Demolished (?)

European Block

588 Manitoba Avenue, Winnipeg

1914

 

Winnipeg Cold Storage Building (addition)

422 Jarvis Avenue, Winnipeg

1914

 

Jessie Block

626 Jessie Avenue, Winnipeg

1914-1917

 

Kepman Apartments

640 Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg

1914

 

North Panama Apartments

229 Machray Avenue, Winnipeg

1914

 

Rubin Block

270 Morley Avenue, Winnipeg

1914

 

North End Mennonite Brethren Church

533 Burrows Avenue, Winnipeg

1917

 

Globe Bedding Company Warehouse

274 Jarvis Avenue, Winnipeg

1918

 

Budnik Block (addition)

594-600 Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg

1920

 

New Hargrave Building

361 Hargrave Street, Winnipeg

1922

 

Blankstein House

131 Machray Avenue, Winnipeg

1922

 

Hebrew Free School

220 Andrews Street, Winnipeg

1923

 

Quality Clothing Block

687 Main Street, Winnipeg

1923

Demolished (?)

Budnik Block (addition)

594-600 Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg

1924

 

Mindell Block

607-609 Main Street, Winnipeg

1925

 

Alekno Block (renovations)

376 Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg

1926

 

Rose Theatre

801 Sargent Avenue, Winnipeg

1926

 

Tivoli Theatre

115 Maryland Street, Winnipeg

1927

 

Tory’s Academy Auto Service Garage

155 Fort Street, Winnipeg

1928

 

Lido Theatre

220 Edwards Avenue, The Pas

1928-1929

 

Roxy Theatre

385 Henderson Highway, Winnipeg

1929

 

Uptown Theatre

394 Academy Road, Winnipeg

1930-1931

 

Sources:

1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

1921 Canada census, Ancestry.

“Winnipeg’s new Uptown Theatre will open this evening,” Winnipeg Free Press, 24 December 1931, page 16.

“M. Z. Blankstein, architect, dies early this morning,” Winnipeg Free Press, 31 December 1931, page 1.

Winnipeg Building Index (University of Manitoba).

Biographical Dictionary of Architects in Canada, 1800-1950.

Obituary [Lena Blankstein], Winnipeg Free Press, 16 April 1959, page 47.

Obituary [Isaac Wolfe Blankstein], Winnipeg Free Press, 24 December 1990, page 62.

Obituary [Ida Blankstein], Winnipeg Free Press, 13 August 2003, page 47.

Obituary [Morley Blankstein], Winnipeg Free Press, 20 June 2015, page A30.

Obituary [Fred Blankstein], Winnipeg Free Press, 21 July 2018.

Henderson’s Winnipeg and Brandon Directories, Peel’s Prairie Provinces, University of Alberta Libraries.

We thank August Rivalin, Murray Peterson, and Jordan Makichuk for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 4 September 2022

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