Blankstein, Cecil

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BLANKSTEIN, CECIL (1908–1989), Canadian architect. Blankstein was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, into a building and architectural dynasty. His grandfather Meyer was a contractor and stonemason in Odessa and his father Max was a Russian-trained architect who practiced in Winnipeg from 1905, the first registered Jewish architect in western Canada. Cecil Blankstein graduated with a degree in architecture from the University of Manitoba in 1929. His sister Evelyn and brother Morley were also architects and his son Arthur became an interior designer in Winnipeg and son Max a town planner in Israel.

Heavily influenced by the German Bauhaus tradition, Blankstein's contemporary designs graced residential, commercial, and public building in Winnipeg and elsewhere in Canada, including the Winnipeg Concert Hall, Winnipeg Airport, Winnipeg City Hall, Winnipeg Post Office, the Lorne Building in Ottawa, which until recently housed The National Gallery of Canada, and buildings on several Canadian university campuses. Of special note are Blankstein's contemporary postwar design for Winnipeg's Shaarey Zedek Synagogue and his imaginative conception, in the late 1960s, for a major terraced housing project, Tzameret Habirah, in Jerusalem's French Hill quarter. Blankstein's artful combination of row housing with stacked building techniques set a new standard for hillside residential construction in Israel.

[Harold Troper (2nd ed.)]

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Blankstein, Cecil

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