King Woods was the Common Day Alexa with their “Talking Home.”

Nearly eight decades before Alexa made talking houses commonplace, Blanchard and Calhoun debuted Augusta’s “Talking Home,” capturing the community’s imagination and introducing the King Woods subdivision on Kissingbower Road. The revolutionary, fully furnished display home showcased some of the day’s most innovative features and building materials, including fireproof shingles, metal arches and vitreous China (“the finest material known to industrial science for use as lavoratories, water closets and drinking fountains” according to the “Talking Home Edition” of the Augusta Chronicle).

Open for five days in November 1939, the Talking Home provided potential homebuyers a chance to tour a house in one of the city’s newest and most affordable neighborhoods. Advertising monthly payments between $21.79 and $27.95, the King Woods property was originally owned by Henry B. King, son of John Pendleton King and father of John Pendleton King II, whose memorial bird sanctuary eventually became Pendleton King Park. Blanchard and Calhoun took the 50 acres originally selected for development and created 185 lots in the wooded, rolling terrain. Not only were the homes in King Woods affordable — sale prices varied between $3,500 and $4,500 — no two homes were the same, meaning Augustans had the opportunity to buy a quality home for a reasonable price in a conveniently located neighborhood.

That goal — making the dream of home ownership a reality for Augustans with moderate incomes — has been a cornerstone of Blanchard and Calhoun’s philosophy from the beginning and continues to be a driving force a hundred years later.

Just ask Alexa.

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