Peter Van Erp grew up outside of Cleveland, the son of an engineer and a pediatrician who immigrated from the Netherlands. He received his B.Arch from RISD in 1983. He worked for two years at Paolo Soleri’s Arcosanti Project in Arizona, and had worked for a number of architecture firms in Providence and Boston before joining the corporate world with Dunkin’ Donuts for 10 years. Mr. Van Erp is currently an architect in solo practice with an office in Providence. He is a member of the First Unitarian Church and a boat captain with the Providence River Boat Company.
Mr. Van Erp and his wife Chiara Romano have lived in Providence since he graduated RISD. Ms. Romano, a native of Torino, Italy, is an artist and artisan in fabric. They have a son, Paolo, and a daughter, Marilyn, both of whom have also volunteered for WaterFire. He has been an enthusiastic WaterFire volunteer since 1997, Board member since 1999, and served as Board President from 2008 to 2012.