Spandrels were one of the decorative accessories added to the Victorian porch to add “character” and make each porch unique. Spandrel was typically added to the tops of porch posts to create a screening effect and to soften the sharp lines of the posts and beam. The spandrel was primarily a decorative element, and early versions looked similar to a ladder running horizontally between the tops of the columns. Eventually the spandrel was expanded to include turnings, curved elements, and decorative fretwork. Because it is primarily decorative, spandrel designs were limited only by the designer’s imagination.
Photo: Courtesy of Bitter Girl
An example of an earlier style of spandrel looking more like a ladder, yet still a superfluous ornament typical of the Victorian porch.