Obituary: Peter van Dijk, architect of Cleveland’s Blossom Music Center, 90

Posted on: September 10, 2019

“Renowned Cleveland architect Peter van Dijk died Saturday evening at the age of 90,” write Kevin Anderson and Justin Glanville in Sunday’s (9/8) Ideastream (Cleveland). “An immigrant whose family came to the United States when he was a teenager, Van Dijk is best known for the pavilion at Blossom Music Center, but his work in Cleveland both created several original designs that have become modernist masterpieces and preserved several historical landmarks in the area…. [After being] introduced to Eero Saarinen of St. Louis, who designed that city’s landmark Gateway Arch … he joined Saarinen’s firm in Michigan.… Saarinen died quite unexpectedly at the age of 51, and van Dijk soon had an offer to work on a major project in Cleveland … the Anthony J. Celebrezze Federal Building…. That led to one of his signature projects: Blossom Music Center. The 37-year-old architect found himself working with Christopher Jaffe, who brought expertise in acoustics to the project, and structural engineer Richard Genser. To improve their designs, they studied other outdoor amphitheaters [and] created the curving roof of Blossom so that the sound would ‘expand and project,’ Van Dijk told the Cleveland Art Network. The design also reflected the surrounding landscape.”

Posted September 10, 2019