Gazebos & Bandshells from the Area

Published 9:20 am Saturday, September 11, 2010

This photo of the bandshell at the west end of Fountain Lake Park was taken in 1935. Albert Lea’s lakeside park, created just a few years earlier, was a popular place for band concerts and local celebrations for many years. This bandshell was replaced with the present gazebo a few years ago. -- Photo courtesy Freeborn County Historical Museum

One of the legacies from another era is a structure called a bandshell. This type of building has walls on three sides, is freestanding and has a roof. The fourth side, or front, is open and there’s usually a slanting back wall. A raised stage enhances the intent to project the sounds of music and/or entertainment outward for the benefit of an audience.

A prime example of a local bandshell is now located in the south part of Edgewater Park.

Another type of structure once used for weekly concerts by local musicians during the warmer parts of the year is the bandstand. This freestanding building has a roof, raised floor and is open on all sides. In later years these structures in parks have also been used for a variety of purposes, including family picnics and reunions, sponsored programs and various activities. And during the years what was once called a bandstand has somehow acquired the descriptive label of gazebo.

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A definition of this now popular word says a gazebo is a pavilion-like structure, sometimes octagonal, in parks, private gardens and spacious public area. Gazebos are freestanding roofed and open on all sides. They provide shade, shelter, ornamental features in a landscape, and a place to rest. Some gazebos in public parks are large enough to serve as bandstands or rain shelters.

There are several excellent examples of gazebo structures in Albert Lea and nearby communities.

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