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KOSHABA ORIENTAL RUGS TO ROLL UP SHOP IN FALL

Another downtown landmark store will join Auerbach's, The Paris, Wolfe's, Dinwoodey's, Kress and many more in November when Koshaba & Co., the Oriental rug store that has operated on State Street near 200 South for the past 75 years, goes out of business.

Eileen Redington, owner of the store launched in 1920 by her great-uncle, David Koshaba, said that the business her family has run for most of this century has been a good one but increasing competition, long hours and the desire to spend more time with her family mean it's time to move on."I have two kids, 11 and 13, and they need a mother," she said.

Still, it will be difficult to walk away from a business that has been in her family for three generations, Redington conceded. "It's going to be hard to close up and say goodbye."

Redington said the store operated for years as the only Oriental rug merchant in Utah. The current inventory of 2,500 rugs - priced from $100 to $60,000 - totals some $6 million.

Redington's father, William A. Pera, was David Koshaba's nephew and eventually became a partner in the business. Koshaba died in 1976 and Pera in June of last year. Redington took over the business in January of last year but has worked in it since 1985.

Koshaba launched the business in 1920 in what later became the Lyric Theater and is now Promised Valley Playhouse, 132 S. State. It later shared half of the Salt Lake Blue Print building at 243 S. State and then moved one door north to its present location at 237 S. State in 1960, where it occupied the old Walter's Electric store. That building was razed in 1965 and the new Koshaba store built in its place.

Oriental rugs are handmade, some taking several people years to create. Most come from Iran (Persia), Turkey, Pakistan, India, China and Afghanistan. While most are new, some in the Koshaba inventory are antiques, up to 100 years old. Redington said she will attempt to sell the entire stock prior to closing the doors for good sometime in November.

Last week, Redington announced that 10 percent of all of Koshaba's sales for a two-week period ending Sept. 2 will be donated to the Cottonwood Alta View Health Care Foundation.