Norristown is the county seat of Montgomery County and borders the Schuylkill River. It is approximately six miles from the Philadelphia city limits. The area where Norristown sits was originally owned by the family of Isaac Norris, who purchased the land from William Penn in 1704.

At its height, Norristown was an industrial, retail, banking, and government center. Breweries, cigar factories, textile mills, icehouses, and lumber yards provided employment for skilled laborers. The downtown featured two department stores, several theaters, and enough goods and services that residents never had to leave town to find anything they needed. Today, Norristown’s economy is based mostly on institutions in the government, healthcare, legal, and social services sectors.

It is where several major roads in the Philadelphia region meet. Main Street (also known as Ridge Pike outside of the municipality) and Airy Street run east-west through the downtown, eventually leading to interchanges for I-476 (the Blue Route) and the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-276), respectively, in Plymouth Meeting. U.S. 202 is the major north-south route through the town. 

Norristown is the largest transportation hub in Montgomery County. Many rail lines, bus routes, multi-use trails, and parking areas meet at the Norristown Transportation Center. SEPTA operates eight bus routes (90, 91, 93, 96, 97, 98, 99, and 131), one light rail route, Norristown High Speed Line, and a regional rail line,( Manayunk/Norristown Line) out of the NTC complex. The future connection to King of Prussia is in the planning stage.

The regional rail station at the Transportation Center is one of three on the Manayunk/Norristown line. The other two are Main Street and Elm Street.


The Schuylkill River Trail, which connects Philadelphia to Phoenixville and runs through downtown Norristown, also passes through the NTC complex. The Chester Valley Trail  also now connect to the Transportation Center. 


Norristown is home to two performing arts theaters, Montgomery County Cultural Center and Theatre Horizon. Norristown’s Main Street contains a wide variety of upscale ethnic restaurants providing Korean/Japanese, Mexican, Ethiopian, Vietnamese, and Italian food.

Since the early 2000s, the Regatta Apartments, the Rittenhouse condominium building, and dozens of new townhouses have contributed to a residential boom in the East End.

The Norristown School System serves the community. The popular Elmwood Park Zoo is located in Norristown.

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