A gazebo is an outdoor structure with a (most often pointed) roof and no full-length side inclosures. It is usually round, though many models are hexagonal.

Gazebos (or gazeboes, either can be used as a plural form) were originally built so contractors, landscapers and homeowners could survey a property's landscape and supervise a construction or landscaping project. The structure, with its roof and open sides, allowed people to see what was going on without being subject to the weather. The open sides allow for communication between the supervisor and workers. The word is believed to have been derived from the word 'gaze', as people needed to be able to 'gaze' at the landscape or the work that took place there.

Gazebos can range greatly in size and decorative style. Many contemporary models are anywhere between six feet and sixteen feet in diameter. While gazebos of old served a mainly practical purpose, today's models are generally used to create a visual effect in a yard, park or other "green" area.

Some of the models advertised on the internet are described as "rustic," "unique" or "detailed." Appearance, though an important element during the 19th century, did not originally take precedence over a gazebo's ability to provide shade and keep the lines of communication open. They began to become more ornate during the early 20th century.

The main use of a modern gazebo is to provide shade and to enhance the area's visual appearance. Gazebos also make popular wedding locations; they allow for outdoor weddings while providing relief from the sun.

Most gazebos sold today (or most of those sold online, anyway) are made of wood. Some of the larger contemporary models have glass windows and are held together with metal as opposed to wood. The most famous "glass gazebo" is most likely the one on the grounds of Austria's Castle Hellbrunn, which was featured prominently in The Sound of Music.

Gazebo assembly kits generally cost between $1500 and $5000 (US). Prices vary depending on the size of the gazebo and the amount of detailing. As is the case with other such structures, the presence of a gazebo on one's property may help increase the property value.


Resources:
http://www.gazebos.com (no, really)
http://dictionary.reference.com/search?q=gazebo
"Your Sound of Music Keepsake" MM-Verlag Ges. 1993.

In Memory of Eva Gore-Booth and Con Markiewicz

Should the conflagration climb,
Run till all the sages know.
We the great gazebo built,
They convicted us of guilt;
Bid me strike a match and blow.

William Butler Yeats (1865–1939)

Eva Gore-Booth was a lyricist, writer, involved in politics and gorgeous. Yeats compared her to a gazelle in this poem. It was she and her sister Constance Markiewicz who were the focus of William Yeats' familiar poem In Memory of Eva Gore-Booth and Con Markiewicz. Eva, or Selena as she was occasionally called, wrote verse of a formless and spiritual variety, most of which has not survived its times. In addition to being immortalized by her homelands greatest poet, Gore-Booth enjoyed another great achievement. In a Manchester parliamentary by-election she once routed a young Liberal Party candidate named Winston Churchill.

Pronounced g&-'zE-(")bO , these buildings are typically used as a summerhouse, gazebos are any free-standing, roofed structure that is open on all sides. Traditionally they are placed in the corner of a garden and used as a gazing room.

The earliest recording of the word gazebo dates back to 1752, allegedly a tongue in cheek creation of gaze and –bo. Perhaps a pseudo-Latin coinage from gaze, the open freestanding roofed structure from which one surveys the landscape, has two plurals: gazebos and gazeboes. Take Our Word For It explains the possible origins of the first time the word was used in print and how it may have come into the English language from the Orient:

    The earliest use of the word comes from 1752, and that quotation suggests that the word might be of some Far Eastern origin: The Elevation of a Chinese Tower or Gazebo (from New Designs for Chinese Temples, by William and John Halfpenny). Some have suggested that it was coined in English as a play on gaze, imitating Latin future verb forms (like videbo "I shall see"), but the OED does not seem to favor that explanation. Robert Hendrickson, in his Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins, mentions a possible derivation from German Gasse-bau "bow window", but he cites no support for that.

    William Halfpenny, by the way, also known as Michael Hoare (no one knows which was his real name), was an 18th century English architectural designer. John was purportedly his son. New Designs for Chinese Temples is an important work because, among other reasons, it describes the Chinese influence in England that is normally attributed to Chippendale and Chambers, whose books were published some time after the Halfpennys'. New Designs for Chinese Temples notes that the Chinese influence had already reached England and was enjoying some popularity. Despite all of this, however, the Halfpennys designs are not considered important; some were pretty but all apparently lacked originality.

Still others expand on the idea that it may be the corruption of an oriental word derived from the model of past belvedere s where bello verde means "handsome sight." But most likely a corruption of some oriental word attesting to features of the architectural structures and other associated vocabulary for instance kiosk and pergola, all of which are found frequently in the framework of European Orientalism. Another possible etymology for gazebo could possibly come from Hispano-Arabic as a viewing platform for watching candidates called mirador. The first written account of this term dates back to another poet from medieval Cordoban by the name of Ibn Guzman. The British occupation of Tangiers during the eighteenth century may have supplied a way for the introduction of this lexical isolate. Even though the structural design of the octagonal garden pavilion now called a gazebo probably had multiple paths to Britain.

For certain no one knows its origins but lastly one etymologist suggests that the Latin roots may possibly be the product of a gag among academia as a comical reference to the word ‘gaze’, emulating the Latin future tense, “just as the basin used in the Catholic mass is a lavabo, meaning ‘I shall wash.’”

Sources:

Gazebo:
http://www.bartleby.com/cgi-bin/texis/webinator/sitesearch?FILTER=&query=gazebo&x=0&y=0

Eastern Prospects: Kiosks, Belvederes, Gazebos http://www.kluweronline.com/article.asp?PIPS=5111407&PDF=1

May 22, 1870 was the birthday of Eva Gore-Booth:
www.geocities.com/athens/delphi/7086/000522f.htm

Online Etymology Dictionary:
www.etymonline.com/g1etym.htm

Take Our Word For It:
www.takeourword.com/TOW178/page2.html

www.m-w.com/:
http://www.m-w.com/cgi-bin/netdict?gazebo

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