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Huntington Town mulls adding name of physician's wife to historic Teich House

Town historian who wrote report for historic designation concedes that he and history had overlooked the important role Beatrice Teich played in her husband's medical practice.

History may finally recognize Beatrice Teich.

She was married to Dr. Samuel Teich, a Huntington physician whose family roots are linked with local history,  said Huntington Town historian Robert Hughes. In her own right, Beatrice Teich was very involved in running the family practice before her death in 2008, Hughes said.

Now,  town officials are proposing that her name be added to the historical designation of the Dr. Samuel Teich House on New York Avenue in Huntington Station.  That's where Teich, a physician and obstetrician, worked from 1935 to 1985, delivering generations of Huntington residents alongside his wife.

The town board will hold a public hearing on the proposed renaming at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Town Hall.

“The Town Board designated the Dr. Samuel Teich House, located at 1090 New York Avenue in Huntington Station, as  a historic landmark earlier this year. Upon consideration of the designation, family members requested the official designation also include Dr. Teich’s wife, Beatrice, and were consulted on the exact wording. Changing the designation to Dr. & Mrs. Samuel Teich House requires a public hearing because it is a change to Town Code,” said Supervisor Chad Lupinacci in an emailed statement.

"It's an unfortunate thing that too often women's role in history gets overlooked, and I have to plead guilty to this one because I wrote the report" for the original historical designation, Hughes said in an interview. "In the report I refer to it as the Dr. Samuel Teich House, so that's the name given on the official town resolution. It's a shame, because his wife Beatrice did contribute a lot. She didn't just raise the couple's three sons but she helped to run his medical office and she was really as much part of the community and their contribution to the community as he was."

The two-story white house is considered "one of the very few survivors of the Urban Renewal project of the 1960s," Hughes wrote in the Historic Preservation Commission recommendation issued in June to preserve the home. The building now houses Sonia's Waxing Plus, a skin care spa.

Hughes said he hoped the proposal to recognize Beatrice Teich is just the beginning of more conscious efforts to highlight overlooked historical figures.

"We have to remember that history is written by middle-aged white men and [that] other important contributors are left out, and we're trying to address that in the Town of Huntington," he said.

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