steuben

Matt Richmond / WSKG

Steuben Glass of Corning officially closed its doors on Tuesday - but the demise of the maker of decorative glass was a long time coming.

The quality of the company's design, a top priority for the firm since its founding in 1903, had deteriorated, says glass dealer Jeffrey Purtell.

"I think the last ten years, a lot of the designs were an embarrassment and they certainly don't compare to the wonderful pieces from the '40s, '50s, '60s and '70s," says Purtell.

The company had tried to change with the times, bringing in young marketing consultants, but according to Purtell:

"They had no clue what they were doing."

wallyg / via Flickr

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."