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Steuben Glass to shut down in November
After surviving for more than 100 years in the high-end glass art objects and functional crystal glass objects (like candlesticks and vases) business, Steuben Glass will close its doors on November 29th.
The decision to close was first announced in September by Steuben's parent company, Schottenstein Stores, an Ohio-based corporation that specializes in discount retail stores. Schottenstein purchased the glassmaker from Corning Inc. in 2008.
"The fact is that the world changes. A business decision had to be made," says Thomas Dimitroff, a Corning resident who has written about Steuben and its co-founder, Frederick Carder and consulted for the company.
"And the business decision was that it was too expensive to continue supporting the company."
Steuben art objects have been given as official gifts by U.S. presidents including Harry Truman and Bill Clinton.
Dimitroff says the company was founded on a love of glass and beautiful designs, and a dedication to craftsmanship. But when that fastidiousness was combined with Steuben's sale to a company that would run the business more aggressively, it was only a matter of time before the closure happened.
The Associated Press reports that about 60 workers will be laid off from the factory, with a dozen or so eventually being rehired by Corning.
Corning also bought back the Steuben name, and the closure could have the effect of making Steuben products more valuable, once production ends.