Historic Second Street building renovated into mental health offices

Solutions in Riverhead

A 90-year-old building on Second Street, best known as the former office of Dr. Hallock Luce, has reopened as Solutions: Thinking in a New Space, a facility for psychologists, social workers, therapists and other professionals.

Property owners Itai and Sagit Vishnia of Setauket had the building renovated and created 12 soundproof offices designed to allow someone to start a practice or offer a satellite office with a “minimal risk approach,” while getting support from management and other therapists leasing space there, Mr. Vishnia said.

“You can start out renting just one day a week,” he said.

Solutions has a similar business in Smithtown, which has about 19 tenants.

“We wanted to go farther east because we know that there is a lack of therapists in this area,” Mr. Vishnia said. “We know this because my wife is a school psychologist in Hampton Bays.”

For many years, the building was the office and home of Dr. Luce, who built it in 1927 and lived there until his death in 1975 at the age of 83, according to Richard Wines, chair of the towns landmarks commission.

The side wing of the building was the office and waiting room and the rest was a residence, said Mr. Wines, a former patient who was delivered by Dr. Luce in 1946 in Greenport because there wasn’t a hospital in Riverhead at the time. Mr. Wines added that Dr. Luce also delivered his mother in 1920 at her family’s home.

“You went into this little room and there was this desk piled high with papers and there was Dr. Luce,” Mr. Wines recalled. “The renovation is incredible. They’ve just done a beautiful job. I’m very impressed. It keeps the historic exterior virtually intact and the inside is very much in keeping with the feeling of the building, too.”

Mr. Vishnia described himself as a “historic buff” and believes preserving historic districts are good for businesses.

There were some limits on what could be done with the building since the property lies within the Riverhead Town Historic District. The building is also being proposed for National Register of Historic Places District by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, Mr. Wines said.

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Photo: Solutions owner Itai Vishnia in front of Dr. Hallock Luce’s original fireplace. Mr. Vishnia had the Second Street building renovated and created 12 soundproof offices. (Credit: Tim Gannon)