King of Prussia, Pennsylvania

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King of Prussia
Census-designated place
King of Prussia Mall Plaza first floor.jpeg King of Prussia Inn 1919.JPG
Old swedes.jpg King of Prussia PA from airplane.jpg
Clockwise from top left: King of Prussia Mall, King of Prussia Inn, Airplane view of King of Prussia, and Old Swede Cemetery
Country United States
State Pennsylvania
County Montgomery
Township Upper Merion
Elevation 200 ft (61.0 m)
Coordinates 40°6′N 75°23′W / 40.100°N 75.383°W / 40.100; -75.383Coordinates: 40°6′N 75°23′W / 40.100°N 75.383°W / 40.100; -75.383
Area 8.5 sq mi (22.0 km2)
 - land 8.4 sq mi (22 km2)
 - water 0.1 sq mi (0 km2), 1.18%
Population 19,936 (2010)
Density 2,345.4/sq mi (905.6/km2)
Timezone EST (UTC-5)
 - summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 19406
Area code 610, 484
Location of King of Prussia in Pennsylvania
Location of Pennsylvania in the United States

King of Prussia is a census-designated place in Upper Merion Township, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, United States. As of the 2010 census, its population was 19,936. The community took its name in the 18th century from a local tavern named the King of Prussia Inn, which was named after King Frederick the Great 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 leaseable space and size (nearly 3 million square feet), the King of Prussia Mall, is located here. Also located here is the headquarters of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission Region I.

King of Prussia is considered to be an "edge city" of Philadelphia.

History[edit]

The eponymous King of Prussia Inn was originally constructed as a cottage in 1719 by the Welsh Quakers William and Janet Rees, founders of nearby Reeseville. The cottage was converted to an inn in 1769 and did a steady business in colonial times as it was approximately a day's travel by horse from Philadelphia. Settlers headed west to Ohio would sleep at the inn on their first night on the road. In 1774 the Rees family hired James Berry to manage the inn, which henceforth became known as "Berry's Tavern". General George Washington first visited the tavern on Thanksgiving Day in 1777 while the Continental Army was encamped at Whitemarsh; a few weeks later Washington and the army bivouacked at nearby Valley Forge.[1]

King of Prussia sign on US 202

Parker's spy map,[2] created by a Tory sympathizer of the Kingdom of Great Britain, listed the inn as "Berry's" in 1777, but a local petition in 1786 identified it as the "King of Prussia". It was possibly renamed in honor of Benjamin Franklin's pro-American satirical essay "An Edict by the King of Prussia".[3] At some point a wooden signboard of the inn depicted King Frederick II (Frederick the Great) of Prussia. The inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[4]

The inn was forced to move with the expansion of U.S. Route 202. U.S. 202 is a major north-south highway that passes through the town from southwest to northeast. Its construction as a modern expressway would have caused the destruction of the King of Prussia Inn; however, historic preservationists managed to prevail upon the state of Pennsylvania to avoid this important structure by building north and southbound lanes on either side of it. For more than a quarter century the inn was marooned on a median island, with motor traffic whizzing past on both sides. It was sealed up for years, surrounded by a high fence. The inn was successfully relocated in 2000 and opened to the public in October 2002.

The extensive suburban development that has taken place since the 1960s in King of Prussia has led urban planning scholars like Joel Garreau to label the area as an epitome of the edge city phenomenon, a situation where the most vibrant economic growth and prosperity in a metropolitan area (in this case, Philadelphia) no longer occurs in the urban center, but rather at its periphery. Before 1960, the Greater King of Prussia area was known for little more than being the place of Washington's winter respite in 1777-8 (see Valley Forge National Historical Park).[5]

Daniel Berrigan and his brother Philip Berrigan began their Plowshares Movement at the General Electric Weapons Plant in King of Prussia in 1980. That event and the subsequent court proceedings surrounding the 'Plowshares Eight' were dramatically depicted by Emile de Antonio in the 1983 motion picture In the King of Prussia.[6][7]

Geography[edit]

Hanging Rock on what is now PA 320 in Gulph Mills, c. 1919

There is no incorporated city of King of Prussia, although the United States Postal Service office there still carries that name (since 1850[8]). The zip code is 19406.[9] King of Prussia's boundaries, as defined by the Census Bureau, are the Schuylkill River to the north, U.S. Route 422 to the west, Bridgeport to the east, and I-76 to the south. However, the Greater King of Prussia Area is often cited to include Bridgeport, parts of Wayne and Radnor Township, King Manor, as well as most of Gulph Mills. The local fire department carries the King of Prussia name, whereas the police department and the school district carry the Upper Merion name.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 8.5 square miles (22 km2), of which 8.4 square miles (22 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2), or 0.83%, is water.

The area is served by area codes 610 and 484. 484 is an overlay area code.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1990 18,406
2000 18,511 0.6%
2010 19,936 7.7%
http://www.city-data.com/city/King-of-Prussia-Pennsylvania.html.

As of the 2010 census, the CDP was 69.4% White Non-Hispanic, 5.7% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 18.6% Asian, and 2.1% were two or more races. 4.2% of the population were of Hispanic or Latino ancestry. 22.4% of the population was foreign-born.[2]

As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 18,511 people, 8,245 households, and 4,773 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 2,202.4 people per square mile (850.8/km2). There is about 8,705 housing units at an average density of 1,035.7/sq mi (400.1/km2). The racial makeup of the CDP was 82.70% White, 10.62% Asian, 4.26% Black or African American, 0.16% Native American, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.84% from other races, and 1.39% from two or more races. 1.91% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 8,245 households, out of which 21.1% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.2% were married couples living together, 6.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.1% were non-families. 33.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.89.

In the CDP the population was spread out, with 17.6% under the age of 18, 8.4% from 18 to 24, 35.1% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 16.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 97.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.1 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $62,012, and the median income for a family was $75,882. Males had a median income of $50,803 versus $37,347 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $32,070. 3.2% of the population and 1.6% of families were below the poverty line. 1.8% of those under the age of 18 and 2.1% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.

Climate[edit]

According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, King of Prussia has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[11]

Climate data for King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 11
(51)
16
(60)
17
(62)
22
(71)
24
(75)
30
(86)
33
(91)
32
(89)
26
(78)
21
(69)
16
(61)
15
(59)
22
(71)
Average low °C (°F) 9
(48)
9
(48)
3
(38)
4
(39)
9
(49)
20
(68)
17
(63)
16
(61)
12
(54)
6
(42)
1
(33)
−4
(24)
11
(51)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 91
(3.6)
84
(3.3)
97
(3.8)
94
(3.7)
99
(3.9)
114
(4.5)
112
(4.4)
114
(4.5)
94
(3.7)
84
(3.3)
84
(3.3)
97
(3.8)
1,163
(45.8)
Source: Weatherbase [12]

Government and politics[edit]

Fire station in King of Prussia

The Upper Merion Township governs the King of Prussia CDP. This is evidenced by the political ads and police vehicles present. The government is run by an elected five person Board of Supervisors, each of whom serve staggered six year terms. The current supervisors are Chairperson William Jenaway (D), Vice Chairperson Greg Waks (D), Erika Spott (D), Carole Kenney (D) and Greg Philips (D). The Chairperson and Vice Chairperson are elected every year in January by their fellow Supervisors.

Presidential elections results
Year Republican Democratic
2012 41.2% 5,772 57.6% 8,065
2008 40.1% 5,694 59.1% 8,791
2004 43.1% 6,380 56.5% 8,375
2000 43.5% 5,455 54.2% 6,801
1996 40.8% 4,231 48.8% 5,062
1992 32.3% 5,099 42.6% 5,528

The recent Chairs of the Upper Merion Township Board of Supervisors: 2016: Bill Jenaway; 2015: Greg Philips (from January–April); Erika Spott (from May–December); 2014: Greg Waks; 2013: Greg Waks; 2012: Erika Spott; 2011: Ed McBride (R); 2010: Joe Bartlett (R); 2009: Scott Sibley (R); 2008: Scott Sibley (R)

All township business meetings are televised by Upper Merion Government Access Television (UMGA-TV.)

The Tax Collector is Rose Hykel (R).

The elected Board of Auditors are Van Weiss (R), George Shoffner (R) and David Lipson (D).

The Supervisors hire a township manager to run the operations of the township. The current township manager is David G. Kraynik.

The township is part of the Thirteenth Congressional District (represented by Rep. Brendan Boyle-D), the Seventh Congressional District (represented by Rep. Pat Meehan-R), the 149th State House District (represented by Rep. Tim Briggs-D) and the 17th State Senate District (represented by Sen. Daylin Leach-D).

Economy[edit]

Satellite view of King of Prussia Mall
The King of Prussia Mall interior.

King of Prussia has an unemployment rate of 4.30% and an annual job growth of about 1.44% and 38% over the next ten years.[13] A large factor of that comes from the King of Prussia Mall, the largest shopping complex in the United States by shopping area square footage and the numerous employers in the area.

According to Upper Merion Township's 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[14] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees Community
1 Lockheed Martin 3,568 King of Prussia
2 GlaxoSmithKline 2,732 King of Prussia
3 Radial 991 King of Prussia
4 Pershing 853 King of Prussia
5 Upper Merion Area School District 691 King of Prussia
6 United States Liability Insurance Group 655 Wayne
7 Yellowbook 648 King of Prussia
8 Shellville Services 530 King of Prussia
9 Nordstrom 486 King of Prussia
10 Amerigas UGI 1,500 King of Prussia
11 Broadview Networks 469 King of Prussia

In addition, major commercial property owners in King of Prussia formed an organization in 2010 called the King of Prussia Business Improvement District that works to improve the physical environment, market the area, and advocate for zoning, tax and transportation policies that will keep King of Prussia competitive in the region.

Education[edit]

Schools[edit]

Public school students in the King of Prussia area attend schools in the Upper Merion Area School District. The schools include Caley Road, Roberts, Bridgeport, and Candlebrook Elementary, Upper Merion Area Middle School and Upper Merion Area High School. King of Prussia also has a Private school, Mother Teresa Regional Catholic School.

Colleges[edit]

The Penn State Great Valley campus was once located in King of Prussia from 1963 to 1974 before relocating to Great Valley. In 1982, the college opened up a new facility called Penn State King of Prussia Center.

Infrastructure[edit]

Health care[edit]

Children's Hospital facility in King of Prussia

The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia's 135,000-square-foot (13,000 m2) "Specialty Care and Surgery Center" opened in King of Prussia in 2015.[15] The Gulph Road facilities includes practices in sports medicine, oncology, and pediatric imagery. The facility is part of a larger site known as "The Village at Valley Forge".[16]

Roads[edit]

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.

Transit[edit]

King of Prussia Transit Center at the King of Prussia Mall

King of Prussia is well served by SEPTA by buses at the King of Prussia Transit Center. Also, the Gulph Mills train station is served by the Norristown High Speed Line. There is a proposed rail link with 10 stops to Norristown that is estimated to add $946 million in assessed property values for about a $1 billion investment.[17]

Notable people[edit]

  • The Bloodhound Gang - A comedic rock band originating in the early '90s from King of Prussia.[18]
  • Jobriath Boone - (born Bruce Wayne Campbell December 14, 1946 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, died August 3, 1983), A native of King of Prussia, he was an American folk and glam rock musician and actor. He was the first openly gay rock musician to be signed to a major record label, Elektra Records.[19]
  • Charlie Brenneman - Professional Mixed Martial Arts competitor with a 15–7 record.
  • Kathy Jordan - Professional tennis player
  • Kit Osbourne - Professional wrestler
  • Lisa Salters - An ESPN Reporter for various sports including basketball and football.
  • William Colepaugh - An American seaman who defected to Nazi Germany during World War 2. After being trained as a spy and reinfiltrating America, he surrendered to the FBI and was jailed until 1960, after which he moved to King of Prussia where he ran an office furniture store until his death in 2005.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Haley, Bill. '"A Home For The Inn," Berry’s Tavern in Merionethshire, and the "Other" Valley Forge'. Accessed June 23, 2006.
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ Franklin, Benjamin.reprinted on The History Carper.
  4. ^ Greater Valley Forge Chamber of Commerce. "King of Prussia's name". Accessed June 23, 2006.
  5. ^ Infield, Tom (June 17, 2008). "King of Prussia still evolving". The Philadelphia Inquirer. Retrieved November 13, 2013. 
  6. ^ In the King of Prussia
  7. ^ http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084130/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
  8. ^ Historic Reeseville. The name of the town was chosen because there were ten Kings that originally lived in the town. "Early King of Prussia. Accessed June 23, 2006.
  9. ^ "King Of Prussia Pennsylvania ZIP Code Map Free". HipCodes.com. 2012-11-30. Retrieved 2013-01-19. 
  10. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Archived from the original on 2013-09-11. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  11. ^ Climate Summary for King of Prussia, Pennsylvania
  12. ^ "Weatherbase.com". Weatherbase. 2013.  Retrieved on October 24, 2013.
  13. ^ "King of Prussia economy". 
  14. ^ Township of Upper Merion CAFR
  15. ^ "The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Opens New Specialty Care and Ambulatory Surgery Center in King of Prussia". Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. May 18, 2015. 
  16. ^ "Children's Hospital of Philadelphia to build new facility in King of Prussia". 
  17. ^ "Study: KoP Rail could add nearly $1B in real estate value". 
  18. ^ Jeffries, David. "Bloodhound Gang - Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 2013-01-19. 
  19. ^ Jobriath

External links[edit]