Van Dijk died Saturday at age 90 at his home in Cleveland Heights after a two-year battle with cancer, said his wife, Roberta van Dijk.
Van Dijk was nationally recognized for his innovative design for Blossom, the open-air pavilion completed in 1968 in Cuyahoga Falls as the summer home of the Cleveland Orchestra.
Blossom’s success helped van Dijk’s firm, now DLR Group Cleveland, grow a global practice in the design of performing arts centers, theaters and concert halls.
When designing new buildings, van Dijk was a committed modernist, eager to express structure and function in bold, clear shapes while exploiting contemporary materials such as glass and steel.
“He never copied, he never mimicked, he never repeated himself,” said architect Paul Westlake, who joined the firm in 1981.
Yet van Dijk also became a staunch preservationist who resisted the ethos of erasing history in American cities in the 1960s and ‘70s.
Van Dijk’s 1973 master plan for Playhouse Square showed how its separate theater lobbies could be internally connected, creating what has become the second-largest unified performing arts center in the United States, after Lincoln Center in New York.