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TREASURE HUNTING

AROUND HOME : Notes on Gazebos, Sconces and Teakettles : Gazebos

June 12, 1988|LOIS GIBSON

GAZEBOS,kiosks, glorietas, pergolas--enchanted garden and view-site hideaways--have been delighting people for 5,000 years.

Early Egyptians were buried with pictures of gazebos. Gazebos are described in ancient Roman, Muslim and Oriental texts as ideal places for entertainment, relaxation, love, creative thought and spiritual renewal. The Chinese introduced them to Japan. Henry VIII designed one. They were called "summerhomes" in Persia, gandals in India, pavilions in Turkey, belvederes in Medici villas, and petits trianons on French estates.

During the 1870s, garden buildings became popular in America as symbols of the hard-won leisure and elegant taste of the new middle class. Topped by cupolas, weather vanes and banners, they proliferated in timbered, latticed, miter, spindle work, gingerbread and Moorish styles. Victorians proudly reclined in ornate pergolas, sipped tea on the benches of trellised arbors and flirted in strombrellas , their roofed swings.

The turn of the century brought screened porches and sun parlors, and for a time gazebos were outmoded. They resurfaced in 1930, then were superseded by post-'40s decks and patios.

At home nowadays, we're seeking peaceful retreats from high-tech life. Once again, we're rediscovering the gazebo--a perfect setting for dining, romance, meditation and hot-tubbing.

Gazebos, arbors and a few strombrellas are available at Canoga Park Redwood in Canoga Park, Spa City in Glendale, and International Garden and Floral Designs in El Segundo. Antiques Warehouse in Costa Mesa builds giant-sized gazebos, and Myron's in Santa Monica crafts them in wrought iron. Prefabricated gazebos and arbors are sold by Gazebo Enterprise in Woodcrest, near Riverside. Sun Designs and U-Build publish make-it-yourself plans, on sale at most Tru-Value hardware stores.

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