Kittinger Company

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Kittinger Company
Type Family Business
Industry Furniture
Founded Buffalo, New York, 1866
Headquarters Buffalo, NY, USA
Products Residential and Contract Furniture
Owner(s) Raymond Bialkowski, President/CEO
Employees < 50
Website www.kittingerfurniture.com

The Kittinger Company is an American maker of colonial reproduction furniture.

The Kittinger Company was founded in Buffalo, New York in 1866 by George and Oliver Colie.  Founded as a paper manufacturer, the production of upholstered furniture did not begin until a short period after the Colie’s opened their paper operation.  In 1885, the Colie’s opened a factory where their hand crafter furniture was produced. 

In 1913, Irvine J. Kittinger took over the company, giving the company its namesake.  Under Kittinger’s control, the company’s primary focus was to produce the highest quality furniture possible.  The Kittinger family controlled the Kittinger Company until selling it in 1966. 

After being sold to a series of owners, in 1990 USC Industry acquired Kittinger Company. The following years under poor management proved to be a tough time for Kittinger, which resulted in bankruptcy.

In 1996, Raymond Bialkowski, a former Kittinger cabinet maker, purchased the Kittinger name and production rights. Since coming under Bialkowski’s control, the company has returned to profitability and has expanded its workforce.

Projects[edit]

Colonial Williamsburg Foundation[edit]

From 1937 to 1990, Kittinger was the chief furniture reproductions maker for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation,[1] and sold a Williamsburg-style look to visitors from the home of the Williamsburg Reproductions program, the Craft House.[2] Like Biggs Furniture of Richmond, Virginia, it served an upper middle class market in search of mostly mahogany reproduction furniture of equal quality to the originals, done to museum standards. The product was mainly crafted in the Queen Anne, Chippendale and Hepplewhite styles.

The White House[edit]

A number of Kittinger reproductions can still be found in the West Wing office area of the White House in Washington, D.C. Colonial Williamsburg Foundation interior designers were commissioned by President Richard Nixon in 1970 to redo the interior design of the President's offices. Kittinger Company furniture was used extensively in the redesign since this company was the sole licensee of furniture for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation's famous program to produce exact reproductions of 18th century antiques.[3] Included in the redesign was a new conference table and chairs for the cabinet room. President Nixon wrote a personal check to pay for the new cabinet room table custom made by The Kittinger Company and donated it to the White House.

Along with furnishing areas of the White House, the Kittinger Company has also produced furniture for the inaugurations of former President George W. Bush and current President Barack Obama. In 2005, the White House commissioned six chairs from Kittinger for the second inauguration of former President George W. Bush. In 2009, the White House commissioned an additional two chairs and utility table for the inauguration of current President Barack Obama.[4] The White House reused the pieces crafted by Kittinger again for the second inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2013.

George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum[edit]

The Kittinger Company was commissioned to produce several of its pieces from the White House including fireside chairs, coffee table, pen book table, telephone table, council table and mahogany chairs with cane backs.[5] These pieces are on display in the replica Oval Office in the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum.

Other projects[edit]

Government[edit]

In the past, the Kittinger Company has been commissioned to craft furniture for the Capital Building, Supreme Court, and several government officials.[6]

White House Down (film)[edit]

Sony Pictures commissioned Kittinger to make reproductions of its furniture in the White House for its film White House Down. Kittinger crafted several sets of furniture for the production of the film.[7]

Availability[edit]

Kittinger furniture is available through several showrooms across the country. Kittinger's primary showroom, Kittinger Gallery and Design Studio, is located in Williamsville, New York. Showrooms in Texas, Washington D.C., Illinois, Ohio, and many other states represent and carry the Kittinger lines. Most pieces are built-upon-order to the customers specifications and needs.

In September 2012, Kittinger expanded into Japan with the opening of a showroom in Sala Azabu located in Tokyo.

References[edit]

External links[edit]