The Times Herald, courtesy The Historical Society of Montgomery County

The King of Prussia Plaza was nearly a decade removed from its very beginnings. With four major department stores (Wanamaker’s, Gimbels, Penney’s and Korvette’s) to brag about, well over one hundred stores and over 10,000 parking spaces Kravco’s Plaza was indeed an impact player in the realm of shopping centers.

By the early 1970s the Piccadilly Arcade, the connection between the enclosed (circa-1966) and outdoor malls, was renamed Continental Arcade. A prominent Union Jack flag hung down from the second to the first level

Courtesy of Mall Hall Of Fame website
Courtesy of Radnor Historical Society

As the Plaza celebrated America’s Bicentennial by designating “The 13 Original Colonies” as its 1976 theme Kravco was planning ahead for its next big project. At a December 1976 meeting of the Upper Merion Planning Commission Kravco unveiled its plans to “cash in “on the vacant thirty acre tract adjacent to the Plaza. Kravco saw a need to capitalize on the growing northeastern demand for higher end shopping. The Plaza was built on the knowledge that the Philadelphia region in of itself could support the mall’s existence due to a strong per capital household income. Now was the time to take it one step further.

According to The Times Herald from December 9, “the proposed $15 million enclosed mall complex would have Bambergers and Bloomingdales as the main stores in “The Mall at King of Prussia” plus about 60 boutiques, including restaurants…the center would be about half the size of the plaza.” Richard Jacoby, Kravco attorney, believed that the planned complex, which was bounded by Allendale Road, Route 202, Wills Boulevard and Goddard Boulevard and located on a 30 acre tract, would generate in excess of $60 million a year in sales and would create between 1,200 and 1,500 permanent jobs.

More details…Bamberger’s location was to be on the Route 202 and Goddard Boulevard side; Blooming-dale’s was to be located on the other end, the Route 202 and Allendale Road side. The department stores were to be three levels. They would be complemented by an enclosed, three hundred and eighty foot long two level mall with both ground and deck parking to accommodate 3,472 cars. Kravco would pay for road improvements at the site including adding a traffic light at the main entrance. The land was presently zoned as CO-Commercial Office and Kravco looked for it to be rezoned as SC-Shopping Center.

In February 1977 the land was granted approval by the township to be rezoned as an SC-Shopping Center. Kravco by this time wanted to add a third department store to the mix. A portion of Goddard Boulevard had to be relocated. Other road improvements had to be made as well. The opening date of the facility was pushed back from the spring of 1979 with the new mall beckoning in the early 1980s.

King of Prussia Courier, courtesy Radnor Historical Society


King of Prussia Courier, courtesy Radnor Historical Society