NEWPORT NEWS, Va. – The 90,000-gallon treatment tank that houses the USS Monitor’s iconic revolving gun turret will be drained this summer by conservators at the USS Monitor Center’s Batten Conservation Laboratory at the Mariner’s Museum and Park.
Conservators plan to remove and replace the old treatment system, clean the interior and exterior of the object and remove interior plating from the artifact.
The team is likely to find more artifacts associated with life onboard the USS Monitor once they remove the plating.
The rotating gun turret was an important technological advance in naval architecture and warfare. The cylindrical structure was constructed of eight layers of 1″ thick wrought iron plates strong enough to withstand enemy fire. The turret rotated to aim the two XI” Dahlgren shell guns and then rotated away after firing to protect the sailors inside from return fire.
Museum visitors can see Monitor’s iconic revolving gun turret’s draining and conservation from the massive viewing platform inside the Monitor Center Monday through Friday, May 2nd to July 15th during regular Museum hours, 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. with paid admission. Museum Members may attend at no charge.