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Memorable Manitobans: Max Zev Blankstein (1874-1931)

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Max Zev Blankstein
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Architect.

Born at Odessa, Russia in January 1874, where he received architectural training, he emigrated to Canada in 1904 and was the first Jewish architects to register and practise in Manitoba.

He was married twice, first to Esther Goldin (1881-1906) with whom he had two children: Verna “Vera” Blankstein (1902-1920) and Isaac Wolfe Blankstein (1904-1990). In 1907, he married her sister Laika “Lena” Goldin (1890-1959) and they had five more children: Cecil Blankstein, Eva Rebecca Blankstein, Evelyn Blankstein, Frederick “Ingy” Blankstein (1921-2018), and Morley Blankstein, 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

Adas Yeshurun Synagogue

217 McGregor Street, Winnipeg

1907

Demolished (?)

Aikins Court

167 Aikins Street, Winnipeg

1907

 

Queen’s Theatre (renovation)

239 Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg

1908-1909

 

Blankstein House (Max Zev Blankstein)

450 Dufferin Avenue, Winnipeg

1909

Demolished (?)

Hirsh House (Harry Hirsh)

67 Aikins Street, Winnipeg

1909

Demolished (?)

Hirsh House

143 Polson Avenue, Winnipeg

1909

 

Hirsh House

145 Polson Avenue, Winnipeg

1909

 

Kasner House (Robert Kasner)

749 Stella Avenue, Winnipeg

1909

Demolished (?)

Minuk Block

254-260 Dufferin Avenue, Winnipeg

1909

Demolished (?)

Chechik, Gold and Kernham Cold Storage Warehouse

422 Jarvis Avenue, Winnipeg

1909

 

Galsky Block

656 Aberdeen Avenue, Winnipeg

1910

 

Glesby Stables

468 Aberdeen Avenue, Winnipeg

1910

 

Goldfind House

346 Chalmers Avenue, Winnipeg

1910

 

Northern Block

94 McGregor Street, Winnipeg

1910

Demolished (?)

Weidman Warehouse

244-246 Jarvis Avenue, Winnipeg

1910

 

Winnipeg Cold Storage Building (addition)

422 Jarvis Avenue, Winnipeg

1910

 

American Soda Water Factory

350-360 Flora Avenue, Winnipeg

1911

 

Budnik Block

594-600 Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg

1911

 

Calof Warehouse

121-125 Salter Street, Winnipeg

1911

 

Continental Block

796 Main Street, Winnipeg

1911

 

Krendle Block

141 Hallet Street, Winnipeg

1911

 

Wasserman Block

581-583 Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg

1911

 

Winnipeg Cold Storage Building (addition)

422 Jarvis Avenue, Winnipeg

1911

 

McMartin House

283 Kingsway, Winnipeg

1912

 

Mindell House

292 Austin Street North, Winnipeg

1912

 

Palace Theatre

501 Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg

1912

 

Pinx Furs Store [Abraham Pinx]

494 Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg

1912

Demolished (?)

Winnipeg Hebrew Free School (Talmud Torah)

121 Charles Street, Winnipeg

1912

 

Brandon Court

377 Brandon Avenue, Winnipeg

1912

 

Alekno Block

374-376 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 (addition and renovations and Stable)

374-376 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

 

Shriberg Block

1059 Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg

1914

Demolished (8 May 2023)

Stevens Block

408 Boyd Avenue / 301-303 Salter Street, 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

 

Segal Bakery Building

610 Dufferin Avenue, Winnipeg

1915

Demolished (?)

Winnipeg Cold Storage Building (addition)

422 Jarvis Avenue, Winnipeg

1915

 

Barish Garage

167 Logan Avenue / 51-53 Martha Street, Winnipeg

1916

 

Weidman Warehouse Stable

244-246 Jarvis Avenue, Winnipeg

1916

 

Winnipeg Cold Storage Building (addition)

422 Jarvis Avenue, Winnipeg

1916

 

North End Mennonite Brethren Church

533 Burrows Avenue, Winnipeg

1917

 

Weselake Block

503-505 Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg

1917

 

Globe Bedding Warehouse

274 Jarvis Avenue, Winnipeg

1918

Destroyed by fire (2019)

Slobinsky Warehouse

24-28 Derby Street, Winnipeg

1918

 

Chmelnitsky Warehouse (addition)

248-250 Dufferin Avenue, Winnipeg

1919

Demolished (?)

Weidman Warehouse (addition)

244-246 Jarvis Avenue, Winnipeg

1919

 

Budnik Block (addition)

594-600 Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg

1920

 

New Hargrave Building

361-365 Hargrave Street, Winnipeg

1922

 

Blankstein House

131 Machray Avenue, Winnipeg

1922

 

Hebrew Free School

220 Andrews Street, Winnipeg

1922-1923

 

Parkview Theatre

1823 Portage Avenue, Winnipeg

1923

Destroyed by fire (1924)

Quality Clothing Block

687 Main Street, Winnipeg

1923

Demolished (?)

Sacks House

339 Bartlet Avenue, Winnipeg

1923

 

Budnik Block (addition)

594-600 Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg

1924

 

Winnipeg Cold Storage Building (addition)

422 Jarvis Avenue, Winnipeg

1924

 

Halparin House (alterations)

381 Dufferin Avenue, Winnipeg

1925

Demolished (?)

Mindell Block

607-609 Main Street, Winnipeg

1925

 

Alekno Block (renovations)

374-376 Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg

1926

 

Rose Theatre

801 Sargent Avenue, Winnipeg

1926

 

Plaza Theatre

104 Marion Street, Winnipeg

1926

Demolished (?)

Weselake Block (addition and alterations)

503-505 Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg

1926

 

Kim House

256 Garfield Street South, Winnipeg

1927

 

Norell House

82 Smithfield Avenue, Winnipeg

1927

 

Palace Theatre (addition and alterations)

501 Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg

1927

 

Tivoli Theatre

115 Maryland Street, Winnipeg

1927

 

Brick Store (addition)

494 Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg

1927-1928

Demolished (?)

General Motors Building

155 Fort Street, Winnipeg

1928

 

Weselake Building

417 Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg

1928

 

Mount Carmel Clinic

120 Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg

1928-1929

Demolished (?)

Budnik Block (addition)

594-600 Selkirk Avenue, Winnipeg

1929

 

Lido Theatre

220 Edwards Avenue, The Pas

1929

 

Roxy Theatre

385 Henderson Highway, Winnipeg

1929

 

Chesed Shel Emes Chapel (renovation)

1023 Main Street, Winnipeg

1930

Demolished (2020)

Miles House

241 Cathedral Avenue, Winnipeg

1930

 

Uptown Theatre

394 Academy Road, Winnipeg

1930-1931

 

Morton House

155 Waverley Street, Winnipeg

1931

 

Popeski House

277 Burrows Avenue, Winnipeg

1931

 

Smith House

133 Machray Avenue, Winnipeg

1931

 

See also:

Max Blankstein: Architect by Murray Peterson, Winnipeg Architecture Foundation, 2022.

Sources:

City of Winnipeg Building Permit 1385/1909 [Blankstein House], City of Winnipeg Archives.

1911 Canada census, Automated Genealogy.

Death registration [Vera Blankstein], Manitoba Vital Statistics.

City of Winnipeg Building Permit 1724/1919 [Chmelnitsky Warehouse], City of Winnipeg Archives.

1921 Canada census, Ancestry.

City of Winnipeg Building Permit 2634/1925, City of Winnipeg Archives.

“Residential permits show big increase,” Winnipeg Tribune, 20 April 1926, page 9.

“Brick store on Selkirk,” Manitoba Free Press, 12 November 1927, page 19.

“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.

The Year Past 2002, Annual Report of the City of Winnipeg Historical Buildings Committee, page 14.

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.

Palace Theatre saved from wrecking ball,” CTV News, 7 June 2022.

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

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Jordan Makichuk.

Page revised: 28 November 2023

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