It’s Almost Turret Time


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Beginning July 1 and running through August, the conservation department will focus treatment efforts on Monitor’s 120-ton revolving gun turret.  We intend to complete final deconcretion of the interior and exterior of the massive wrought iron structure.  The discovery of new artifacts or construction details is a real possibility.  We plan on documenting and removing the remains of the wrought iron awning stanchions that originally supported a canvas awning.  These stanchions were bent and twisted when the turret flipped upside down during the night of the sinking and provide important archaeological information.  At the conclusion of our activities, conservators will install a custom electrolytic reduction setup and then fill the tank with 90,000 gallons of reverse osmosis water and a pH buffer.

The turret tank will be drained during the week and filled on weekends (with the exception of the 4th of July holiday — it will be drained all weekend!).  Museum visitors will be able to watch these activities as they occur through large glass viewing windows perched near the turret.  Up-to-date information will also be available on our website (, this conservation blog (, and the turret webcam (  Visit us in person or online to stay involved in this historic endeavor.

3 thoughts on “It’s Almost Turret Time”

  1. Can’t wait to watch on-line. Also can’t wait to see the outside of the turret after the crud is off. Hope people make it to the Center over the July 4th weekend, what a unique opportunity to see inside.

  2. Whoa – You took down the old platform this morning. How long was that there? Gonna kinda miss it. Knew it had to go, but it was fun climbing up the ladder.

  3. The old platform had been there since 2002 (I think). Yesterday we hooked a few straps to it, rigged it to the crane, and away it went! It is strange to view the turret from the new location, but it is a more secure work platform. Busy day in the tank, lots of concretion removed, awning stanchions documented (in progress), etc. Temperature in the lab was about 95F, and the humidity was pushing upper 90s%. Definitely sweated in there.