Kittinger Reproducing Furniture For Presidential Library
Kittinger Furniture, founded in Buffalo in 1866, is recreating furniture from the White House Oval Office for a replica of the Oval Office inside the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Tex.
The Library and Museum is the 13th Presidential Library administered by the National Archives and Records Administration, a Federal agency.
Part of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, the library and museum opens to the public May 1, and is expected to attract a half-million people the first year.
In addition to the life-size Oval Office, the Center will include Bush’s presidential archives, as well as a public policy institute and the George W. Bush Foundation.
President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, George H. and Barbara Bush and Bill and Hillary Clinton, are expected to attend the dedication on April 25, Kittinger was commissioned by the Foundation to manufacture numerous pieces for the replica Oval Office.
“They were very particular about reproducing the antiques,” noted Ray Bialkowski, president of Kittinger. “Being asked to provide the furniture for the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum is an exceptional honor.”
Forty years ago, the company designed and built furnishings for the West Wing during its restoration. Kittinger furniture can still be found in the Oval Office, as well as the Cabinet Room of the White House, which features a handcrafted Kittinger conference table and chairs that were ordered and paid for by Richard Nixon in 1969. 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.
Kittinger furniture is also used in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
From 1937 to 1990, Kittinger was the chief furniture reproductions maker for the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, and sold a Williamsburg-style look to visitors from the home of the Williamsburg Reproductions program, the Craft House.
The company continues to manufacture in Buffalo.
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