Acclaimed architect who oversaw Coronado Theatre renovation dies at 90

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Photo: Friends of the Coronado

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Architect Piet (Peter) van Dijk, who oversaw the restoration of Rockford’s Coronado Performing Arts Center, passed away Saturday at the age of 90.

Friends of the Coronado Executive Director Beth Howard said, “Piet was truly an artist.  He brought his extraordinary gifts as an architect, and as a leader in saving and modernizing historic venues with unimaginable historic integrity to the Coronado Theatre in 1997. The Coronado was so very fortunate to have this amazing person to help us save the Coronado.”

Van Dijk won numerous awards during his career, including the 1969 Cleveland Arts Prize for architecture, and the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal in 2000.

Born in Indonesia, where his father worked for Royal Dutch Shell, van Dijk moved to Venezuela before moving to Holland before the outbreak of World War II.

In 1945, the family moved to the U.S. where Van Dijk studied architecture at the University of Oregon.

He worked nationally on historic theater renovations, including the Coronado in Rockford, the Orpheum in Phoenix, the Clemens Center in Elmira, New York, the Tennessee in Knoxville, and the Arts Block in Wausau, Washington.

Van Dijk passed away at his home in Cleveland on Saturday, September 7th.

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