King of Prussia
King of Prussia is a census-designated place in Upper Merion Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States. The community took its name in the 18th century from a local tavern named the King of Prussia Inn, which was named after Frederick II, King of Prussia. Like the rest of Montgomery County, King of Prussia continues to experience rapid development. The largest shopping mall in the United States in terms of space and size, the King of Prussia Mall, is located here. Also located here is the headquarters of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Region I.
King of Prussia has retained its role as an important crossroads throughout United States history. In addition to the Inn, from the earliest days, the intersection supported two general stores. Today, four major highways meet in or near the center of King of Prussia. The Schuylkill Expressway (I-76) from Center City, Philadelphia, ends in King of Prussia at the Pennsylvania Turnpike, an east-west toll road across the southern portion of the state. US 422 begins near the center of town and heads west to Reading; thanks to reconstruction in 2000, motorists can now travel directly from Reading to Philadelphia without passing onto US 202. US 202 is the only major highway that becomes a surface road through the area.
The construction of the nation’s largest shopping mall, thousands of homes, various hotels and highrises, strip malls, restaurants, freeways, a convention center, and much more has caused King of Prussia to become a highly developed community. One unfortunate side effect of the rapid development over the last several decades is that the plumbing and water drainage infrastructure is now barely able to handle the volume, leading to periodic water back ups for homes. The depth of this was shown on a larger scale in October and November 2010 when the King of Prussia Plaza flooded, causing serious damage to many of the first floor areas. Despite this, King of Prussia is seen as an idyllic place to live with some homes and farmsteads older than 200 years still dotting the rolling countryside. Much is being done to protect King of Prussia’s many historic sites. Valley Forge National Historical Park, preserving the site where General George Washington and his Continental Army spent the winter of 1777–78, borders King of Prussia to the west.