LUIS A. FERRE UNITED STATES COURTHOUSE AND POST OFFICE BUILDING
(House of Representatives - June 22, 2004)

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[Pages H4660-H4661]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]




    LUIS A. FERRE UNITED STATES COURTHOUSE AND POST OFFICE BUILDING

  Mr. LaTOURETTE. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and pass the 
Senate bill (S. 2017) to designate the United States courthouse and 
post office building located at 93 Atocha Street in Ponce, Puerto Rico, 
as the ``Luis A. Ferre United States Courthouse and Post Office 
Building''.
  The Clerk read as follows:

                                S. 2017

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. LUIS A. FERRE UNITED STATES COURTHOUSE AND POST 
                   OFFICE BUILDING.

       (a) Designation.--The United States courthouse and post 
     office building located at 93 Atocha Street in Ponce, Puerto 
     Rico, shall be known and designated as the ``Luis A. Ferre 
     United States Courthouse and Post Office Building''.
       (b) References.--Any reference in a law, map, regulation, 
     document, paper or other record of the United States to the 
     courthouse and post office building referred to in subsection 
     (a) shall be deemed to be a reference to the Luis A. Ferre 
     United States Courthouse and Post Office Building.

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from 
Ohio (Mr. LaTourette) and the gentlewoman from California (Ms. 
Millender-McDonald) each will control 20 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Ohio (Mr. LaTourette).
  Mr. LaTOURETTE. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I might 
consume.
  Mr. Speaker, S. 2017, which is identical to a bill that was 
introduced by our colleague, the gentleman from Puerto Rico (Mr. 
Acevedo-Vila), designates the building located at 93 Atocha Street in 
Ponce, Puerto Rico, as the Luis A. Ferre United States Courthouse and 
Post Office Building.
  Luis Ferre was born in 1904 in the town of Ponce, Puerto Rico, just 
after the transition from Spanish to American control. In 1917 at the 
age of 13, Luis Ferre and the people of Puerto Rico received 
citizenship from the United States. Leveraging this advantage, Luis 
Ferre attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and graduated 
with a bachelor's degree in engineering in 1924.
  Upon graduation, Luis Ferre returned to his native Puerto Rico to 
work in his family business, the Puerto Rican Cement and Iron Works. He 
eventually took over and built the business into a hugely successful 
enterprise.
  Having made his mark in business, the ever-ambitious Ferre attempted 
to conquer politics. His first experience was as a mayoral candidate 
for his home city of Ponce in 1940. However, he quickly set his sights 
higher. In 1952, the year before Puerto Rico achieved commonwealth 
status, he won a seat in the Puerto Rican House of Representatives.
  Using this new political independence, and driven by his love for 
Puerto Rico and his experiences in the United States, he began to 
mobilize his resources in the cause of statehood. In 1967 he founded 
the New Progressive Party. The next year he ran and won the 
gubernatorial election, a position he held for one term, from 1969 to 
1973. In that position he was a champion for the statehood movement and 
is still remembered for his efforts.
  In addition to his business in political activities, Luis Ferre was 
an avid supporter of the arts. In 1965, he founded the Museo de Arte de 
Ponce. The museum houses an impressive collection of art from the 
medieval times to the present. It has become a major cultural 
attraction in his home city.
  Luis Ferre was a dedicated scholar, entrepreneur, statesman, and 
humanitarian. He passed away in October 2003 and is buried in his 
hometown of Ponce. This is a fitting tribute to a dedicated Puerto 
Rican, and I urge my colleagues to join me in supporting passage of 
this bill.
  Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Ms. MILLENDER-McDONALD. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I 
may consume.
  Mr. Speaker, S. 2017 is a bill to designate the building located at 
93 Atocha Street in Ponce, Puerto Rico, as the Luis A. Ferre U.S. 
Courthouse and Post Office.
  Luis A. Ferre was born in 1904 in Ponce, Puerto Rico. He received his

[[Page H4661]]

bachelor's degree and master's degree from the Massachusetts Institute 
of Technology. He was also an accomplished pianist who studied at the 
New England Conservatory of Music in Boston and recorded albums with 
the noted Puerto Rican pianist Jesus Maria Sanroma.
  In 1925 he began his business career at the Puerto Rico Iron Works. 
In 1940 he moved to the Puerto Rican Cement Company, and by 1960 he was 
the vice chairman of the company.
  In 1937 he founded the Ponce Public Library, and in 1940 he ran for 
mayor of Ponce. In 1950 he founded the Luis A. Ferre Foundation, which 
resulted in the creation of the Ponce Museum of Art, considered to be 
one of the most important museums in the world. The museum was designed 
by Edward Durrell Stone, who also designed the John F. Kennedy Center 
here in Washington, D.C.
  In 1968 Luis A. Ferre was elected Governor under the New Progressive 
Party banner and served until 1972. While Governor, he provided many 
benefits to workers, including shorter work weeks and maternity leave. 
He provided ownership of land, strengthened the industrial development 
program, and made possible the applicability of the food stamp program 
for Puerto Ricans.
  In 1977 until 1980, he served as president of the senate. He also 
served as State chairman and national committeeman of the Republican 
Party in Puerto Rico. In 1991 he was awarded the Presidential Medal of 
Liberty.
  Ferre was known as an intellectual, a lover of the arts, a brilliant 
politician, and generous benefactor. This designation is a most fitting 
tribute to his illustrious career.
  I support S. 2017 and urge its passage.
  Mr. ACEVEDO-VILA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of S. 
2017, the Luis A. Ferre United States Courthouse and Post Office Act. I 
introduced a counterpart bill, H.R. 3742, which was unanimously 
approved by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. I 
wholeheartedly thank Senator Santorum for introducing S. 2017, and 
Chairman Young and Congressman Oberstar for their leadership in 
shepherding this bill through their committee.
  I ask for my colleagues' support of this bill, which honors the life 
and legacy of Luis A. Ferre, by designating the U.S. Courthouse and 
Post Office building located at 93 Atocha Street in his hometown of 
Ponce, Puerto Rico, as the ``Luis A. Ferre United States Courthouse and 
Post Office Building''.
  Luis Ferre passed away on October 21, 2003, at the age of 99, after 
an exemplary life of statesmanship, political leadership, 
entrepreneurship, advocacy for social justice, and patronage for the 
arts.
  Mr. Ferre was born on February 17, 1904, in Ponce, Puerto Rico, the 
son of Antonio Ferre Bacallao and Mary Aguayo Casals. He graduated in 
1924 with a degree in Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of 
Technology, where he was later appointed to the Board of Trustees. He 
entered his professional life in 1925, working for Puerto Rico Iron 
Works and, subsequently, for Puerto Rican Cement, both family companies 
that were part of the Ferre Enterprises.
  Mr. Ferre ran for public office for the first time in 1940, as a 
mayoral candidate for the city of Ponce. He was a member of the 
Constitutional Convention of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. He was 
elected to the Puerto Rico House of Representatives and ran for 
Governor of Puerto Rico as the Republican Statehood candidate in 1956, 
1960, and 1964. In 1967, he founded the New Progressive Party, and was 
elected Governor in 1968, a position he held from 1969 to 1972. As 
Governor, some of his key initiatives were the creation of a Christmas 
bonus for private and public employees, the construction of Las 
Americas Highway, the right to vote for all citizens from age 18, and 
the Food Stamp Program.
  He was also President of the Puerto Rico Senate from 1977 to 1980, 
and continued serving as Senator from 1981 to 1984. Mr. Ferre acted as 
President of the National Republican Party in Puerto Rico for over 4 
decades.
  Besides his interest in the industrial development of the Island and 
his involvement in the public life of Puerto Rico, he was known for his 
support and dedication to the arts, which led him to open the Ponce 
Museum of Art, considered as one of the most important museums in Latin 
America. A Puerto Rico bill presented in 1980 allowed the creation of 
the Performing Arts Center in San Juan, which now bears his name.
  Among his many recognitions and decorations, he received the 
Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest distinction awarded to a 
civilian by the Government of the United States. He has also been 
honored by numerous institutions in Puerto Rico, New York, Wisconsin, 
Florida, and several other States, as well as by the Dominican 
Republic. During his long life, he received around 15 ``honoris causa'' 
doctorates from the University of Puerto Rico, the Inter American 
University of Puerto Rico and the Pontifical Catholic University of 
Puerto Rico, among others, as well as from the Boston Conservatory of 
Music, Amherst College, Harvard University, and Florida International 
University.
  He served as a member of the board of directors of several 
institutions, including the Hospital de Damas de Ponce, the Pontifical 
Catholic University of Puerto Rico, and the Luis A. Ferre Foundation.
  In October 2002, the Smithsonian Institution's Woodrow Wilson 
International Center in Washington, DC, presented Mr. Ferre with its 
Award for Public Service.
  Mr. Speaker, this designation will serve as a memorial to the 
exemplary legacy of Luis Ferre. I urge my colleagues to support the 
Luis A. Ferre United States Courthouse and Post Office Act, and in so 
doing to honor the life and legacy of Luis A. Ferre.
  Ms. MILLENDER-MCDONALD. Mr. Speaker, I have no further requests for 
time, and I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. LaTOURETTE. Mr. Speaker, I urge passage of this legislation, and 
I yield back the balance of my time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the 
gentleman from Ohio (Mr. LaTourette) that the House suspend the rules 
and pass the Senate bill, S. 2017.
  The question was taken; and (two-thirds having voted in favor 
thereof) the rules were suspended and the Senate bill was passed.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

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