The Press: Rare look inside Civil War landmark USS Monitor

“When we filled the tank three years ago, the armor wall of the turret was a single 8-inch-thick mass. But now we’re getting some definition,” Krop said.

“It’s visibly different from what it looked like in 2012. You can see all of those individual layers of iron. And that’s something nobody has seen since the Monitor sank more than 150 years ago.”

At 120 tons, the Monitor’s famous revolving turret is the largest metal marine artifact ever recovered from the ocean, and the past decade of treatment at The Mariner’s Museum in the world’s biggest metal conservation lab is expected take another 15 years, Krop said.

During most of that time, the 9-foot-tall cylinder will be immersed in its tank and visible only through the clear treatment solution.

But over the next two weeks, museum visitors will be able to peer into the drained interior from an elevated observation platform as the conservation team inspects the turret and plans for an upcoming treatment campaign.

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