Historic Sites of Manitoba: European Block / Obee’s Apartments (588 Manitoba Avenue, Winnipeg)

This three-storey brick building on Manitoba Avenue in Winnipeg was designed by local architect Max Z. Blankstein and constructed in the summer of 1914 by Abraham Cohen and Abraham Meyerowitz. With a frontage of 97 feet along McGregor Street and 33 feet on Manitoba Avenue, it cost around $40,000 and featured a Turkish bath and swimming pool on the main floor, with apartment suites above. Around late 1949, the building was renamed Obee’s Apartments after Harry Oberman (?-1965) and Jack Oberman (1922-2003) who operated Obee’s Steam Bath on the main floor. The building was later converted entirely to residential space.

The former European Block

The former European Block (August 2018)
Source: George Penner

North and west elevations of the former European Block

North and west elevations of the former European Block (October 2018)
Source: Nathan Kramer

South and east elevations of the former European Block

South and east elevations of the former European Block (October 2018)
Source: Nathan Kramer

South and west elevations of the former European Block

South and west elevations of the former European Block (December 2020)
Source: George Penner

Site Coordinates (lat/long): N49.91812, W97.14781
denoted by symbol on the map above

See also:

Memorable Manitobans: Max Zev Blankstein (1874-1931)

Memorable Manitobans: Abraham Cohen (1876-1944)

Sources:

City of Winnipeg Building Permit 839/1914, City of Winnipeg Archives.

“Permits grow,” Manitoba Free Press, 24 April 1914, page 9.

“New apartment block,” Winnipeg Tribune, 25 April 1914, page 6.

“New type of block,” Manitoba Free Press, 30 April 1914, page 22.

Obituary [Harry Oberman], Winnipeg Free Press, 12 April 1965, page 27.

“Author, north end find each other” by Sheldon Oberman, Winnipeg Free Press, 11 August 1996, page 13.

Obituary [Jack Oberman], Winnipeg Free Press, 2 August 2003.

European Block (Obee's Steam Bath & Apartments), 588 Manitoba Avenue by Murray Peterson, Peterson Projects, February 2009.

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

Preparation of this page was supported, in part, by the Gail Parvin Hammerquist Fund of the City of Winnipeg.

We thank Jordan Makichuk for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Nathan Kramer, George Penner, and Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 29 November 2022

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