A gazebo was traditionally an open shelter structure offering panoramic views. Early designs were used as lookout kiosks for the guarding of off-limit areas. In most cases the locations had premium and beautiful locations to gaze upon the surrounding lands, hence the term 'gaze beau(tiful)'. Gazebo structures were quickly incorporated into garden landscape schemes and into town-center parks for multiple public uses.
In 1980, a company in southeastern Pennsylvania engineered a modular gazebo. Premium materials (cedar) and fasteners (stainless steel) were combined into a gazebo that nearly any homeowner could both afford and install. The Vixen Hill modular gazebo became the standard for high-end landscapers and developers. Companies like Courtyard Inns used them nationwide in addition to numerous Hollywood celebrities. Renowned singers like Whitney Houston and composer John Barry used them in their creative moments. But, the one thing that was missing from the typical gazebo was protection from insects and weather.
In 1993 Vixen Hill was asked to develop an enclosed gazebo for Edwards Air Force Base as interview point for returning Space Shuttles. Apparently the wind overwhelmed media microphones and a semi-enclosed structure was needed. Vixen Hill redesigned the rail/fret portion of their gazebos to use screen or glass panels installed from the inside and wooden architectural frames from the outside. The new Garden House structure was then made capable of providing shelter for at least three seasons of the year. No more insects, wind or blowing rain. And the architectural inserts allowed the structure to be installed in some of the more restrictive historic towns and villages. So, if you want a gazebo with some of the comforts of indoor living, get a three season garden house and begin to enjoy the outdoors.