Former Rep. Lipinski gets name on federal building

Clout Street

Former Republican U.S. House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert and current Democratic Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan are among the political luminaries who will honor former Southwest Side Congressman William O. Lipinski on Wednesday.

That’s the day that festivities at the home of the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board at 844 N. Rush St. will officially mark renaming the structure as the William O. Lipinski Federal Building.

Lipinski, who served 22 years in Congress before he was succeeded by his son, Daniel, was influential in transportation matters. His district included Midway Airport and had an enormous number of railroad crossings. Lipinski developed the passenger facility charge that helped airports expand, and assisted in getting mass transit funding, including for the CTA’s Orange Line.

Hastert and Lipinski also were the authors of the current map of congressional boundaries in the state, a map likely soon to be replaced with Madigan-led Democratic-drawn boundaries that could reverse the GOP’s 11-8 advantage in the delegation.

Lipinski and Madigan have been longtime political allies.

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