Philadelphia's King of Prussia Plaza

A vintage snapshot taken on the main mall concourse at KING OF PRUSSIA PLAZA. The date would be sometime in the mid-1960s.
Photo from Malls of America Blogspot

West Delkalb Pike / US 202 and North Gulph Road
Montgomery County (Town of Upper Merion), Pennsylvania

Developed by the Philadelphia-based, M.A. Kravitz (later Kravco Investments) Company, KING OF PRUSSIA PLAZA was built on a 104 acre parcel, 15.5 miles northwest of Center City Philadelphia. Originally a modest, middle-market shopping hub, the open-air complex was anchored by a 2-level (200,000 square foot), New York City-based E.J. Korvette discount mart, which opened for business September 18, 1962. The second anchor, a 3-level (220,000 square foot) J.C. Penney, held its grand opening August 15, 1963.

KING OF PRUSSIA PLAZA was officially dedicated during a 3-day grand opening, which was held between August 23rd and 25th, 1963. Charter tenants included Baker's Shoes, Brooks Sporting Goods, Country Flair Limited, Dial Shoes, Jackman's men's wear, Thrift Drugs, Marianne Shops ladies' wear, Miles Shoes, Quaker City Federal Bank, Philadelphia National Bank, Ritchey Gift Shop, Schearer Florist, Singer Sewing Center, a Horn & Hardart Retail Store, Acme Market grocery and F.W. Woolworth 5 & 10.

Most stores in KING OF PRUSSIA PLAZA were situated along its four attractively-landscaped concourses. There were children's play areas, gazebos, fountains and a hexagonal Woolworth's Snack Shop.

A 3-level (194,000 square foot), Philadelphia-based John Wanamaker department store opened for business August 2, 1965. This was worked into Piccadilly Arcade, a fully enclosed, bi-level mall, added to the north side of the existing Penney's. A 3-level (171,500 square foot) Gimbels-Philadelphia was included, which began business May 2, 1966. With this renovation, the mall housed eighty-three retailers.

A second enlargement of KING OF PRUSSIA PLAZA got underway after the shuttering of its Korvettes store, in 1980. The building was razed and replaced by a fifty-store West Wing. This included a 14-bay Garden Food Court and 2-level (212,000 square foot) Sears "Store of the Future". This addition opened in July 1983. KING OF PRUSSIA PLAZA now encompassed 1,300,000 leasable square feet and one hundred and thirty-three stores and services.