Peter Hoyt Dominick Jr.
Peter Hoyt Dominick Jr. died Thursday, Jan. 1, of a heart attack during a cross-country skiing outing to Ashcroft, just south of Aspen.During his career as an architect Dominick designed a number of homes around Aspen, was a frequent visitor to the area and lived in Aspen for a few months in the late 60s.Dominick was born in New York on June 9, 1941, and raised from the age of 5 in Colorado. He lived in Denver and on his ranch in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains near the town of Red Wing, in southern Colorado.He was the oldest of the four children of Nancy Parks and Peter H. Dominick, who served two terms in the U.S. Senate from Colorado and was appointed ambassador to Switzerland in 1975 by President Gerald R. Ford.Following his fathers educational trail, Dominick attended St. Marks School in Framingham, Mass., for four years and continued on to graduate from Yale University with a bachelor of science in architectural studies in 1963. He pointed to his studies with legendary architecture professor and historian Vincent Scully as the first major influence on his decision to become an architect. His professional training took place at the University of Pennsylvania, studying with another design legend, Louis Kahn. He received his master of architecture degree in 1966.After working his way around the world, he returned to Denver and joined William Muchow & Associates as a designer in 1973. In 1974 he founded Dominick Architects in Denvers lower downtown district, at that point a faded warehousing section. Rolling up his advocacy sleeves, he and some friends formed the Wazee Three and subsequently the Wazee Design & Development Co., a partnership that became a force in the LoDo reconceptualization, planning and renaissance.The next step in 1989 was to merge his firm with Urban Design Group. He became director of design and head of the Denver studio. That office and others in Dallas, Chicago, Tulsa, Okla., and Atlanta grew or were formed. UDGs extensive portfolio became the basis of an eponymous book published in Images Publishing Co.s Master Architect Series about the firms commitment to stewardship and enrichment of the built and natural environments and everyday life. Thomas Beeby and Robert A.M. Stern wrote forewords.By the time that monograph appeared in 2003, Dominick and his colleagues, Randy Johnson and Tom Brauer, had left UDG and formed 4240 Architecture in Chicago and Denver, where Dominick was located.A frequent speaker, occasional writer and knowledgeable collector of contemporary art, Dominick was an active board member of several organizations, notably the Denver Art Museum, the University of Colorado School of Architecture, Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Yale University School of Architecture. In 1994, he was elected a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects, the professions highest honor, for excellence in architectural design. The Digest of Achievements cites his abiding sense of responsibility to the culture of the West and extraordinary ability to articulate artistic ideas.Dominick was both an urbanite and lover of outdoor life an expert horseman, skier and fly fisherman who traveled widely to fish for salmon and trout in the great rivers of the world. One friend wrote that [Peters] life resembled a perfectly cast fly line, unfurling with grace, delivered with purpose.Dominick is survived by Philae Carver Dominick, his wife of 30 years; two grown children; his mother; and two brothers and a sister. A memorial service is scheduled for today at 2 p.m. at St. Johns Episcopal Church in Denver.Donations have been suggested to the Yale School of Architecture, Peter H. Dominick Jr. Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 2038, New Haven, CT 06521.
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