Councilman Mark Cuthbertson, James Mahoney, a past commander and member...

Councilman Mark Cuthbertson, James Mahoney, a past commander and member of the Board of Directors of American Legion Post 694 in Northport and Huntington Supervisor Frank Petrone cut the ceremonial ribbon marking the completed restoration of the Northport American Legion Post. (Dec.19, 2013). Credit: Newsday / Audrey C. Tiernan

Several older veterans are saluting the newly renovated Northport American Legion Post 694, saying it is now more accessible to them.

About 50 people, including local and state elected officials, attended an unveiling ceremony last week, which started with a ribbon-cutting outside the new main entrance and continued in the main hall.

The $1.17-million renovation of the 5,000-square-foot building added an elevator and other updates, including new windows, bathrooms and freshly painted, cream-colored walls.

"This elevator makes the world open up for me again," said Michael Suchocki, 74, an Army veteran from Eatons Neck.

Northport Mayor George Doll applauded the revamped structure, saying, "It's great. . . . It's going to be here to serve future generations."

Jim Mahoney, the American Legion's chairman, said the post with more than 300 members was built almost entirely by veterans who came home to Long Island in the 1950s. The most recent project started in July, and work was being completed on the first floor of the two-story building last week.

"For old veterans it is really a dream come true," Mahoney said.

The project was funded by a $78,000 community development block grant from the Town of Huntington and, the rest, with federal money secured by Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Steve Israel (D-Huntington).

The work was completed by North Star Concrete Construction Corp. of Medford.

"We wanted to give back something to our veterans," said Abilio Salgado, one of the owners.