Kittinger Replicated Oval Office Furniture for Bush Library

By Michaelle Bradford | Posted: 04/24/2013 2:11PM

 

BUFFALO, NY — The handcrafted work of Kittinger Furniture Co. will be on display at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, located on the campus of Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas, TX. President Barack Obama and all four living former presidents — George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter — will attend the opening dedication on April 25.

For more than 40 years Kittinger has created custom furniture pieces for some of the world’s most powerful people with its work featured at the White House, Capitol Hill and the Supreme Court.

According to owner Ray Bialkowski, Kittinger replicated several of its custom furniture pieces from the White House including the fireside chairs, coffee table, pen book table, telephone table, council table and mahogany chairs with cane backs.

Kittinger has a long history — the company was founded in 1866. Although ownership has changed hands several times over the years — General Mills owned it for a while — it was in 1970 that President Richard Nixon commissioned the company to refurbish the West Wing of the White House, creating a relationship that lasts until today.

Bialkowski bought the company in 1996 and has continued its tradition of high-end, handcrafted furniture for the residential market and the highest levels of American government, as well as opening up new distribution networks with a showroom now in Japan.

Most of Kittinger furniture pieces are made by hand. “Just bench-made furniture, nothing on an assembly line,” Bialkowski says. “Our work is not just a piece of furniture but something that is worthwhile. We are making furniture that will last, creating heirlooms.”

Hollywood Calls
Sony Pictures commissioned Kittinger to make reproductions of furniture the company previously designed for the White House. Those reproductions will be featured in an upcoming movie White House Down, directed by Roland Emmerich and starring Channing Tatum, Jamie Foxx, Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Woods, Richard Jenkins and Garcelle Beauvais. The movie is scheduled to be released on June 28.

More Custom Furniture
The Harpswell Chair, designed by custom American furniture maker Thos. Moser and crafted from American black cherry harvested from the Allegheny forest in Pennsylvania, also will be featured at the center along with other custom pieces from the company.

 

About the Author

Michaelle Bradford

Michaelle Bradford is Managing Editor of Closets magazine, Custom Woodworking Business magazine, Wood Products magazine and Custom Built Interiors Weekly eNewsletter. She can be reached at mbradford@woodworkingnetwork.com or Google+.

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