Ironclad Revolution Exhibition

The Monitor’s artifacts are housed at the USS Monitor Center in an extraordinary exhibition and conservation facility that let you experience the fear, the awe, and the excitement that surrounded this extraordinary time in our nation’s history.

At the heart of the USS Monitor Center is the award-winning exhibition—Ironclad Revolution—a melding of artifacts, original documents, paintings, personal accounts, interactives and environments that will pique all five senses. The strategies, people, technology, and science behind the historic circumstances surrounding this story are displayed in a way the public has never before seen.

Visitors may:

  • Walk down a mock dock and enter the CSS Virginia as she is being built for battle.
  • Build your own virtual ironclad
  • Step inside the Battle Theater and experience the action during the Battle of Hampton Roads
  • Visit the living quarters of the sailors, or walk on the deck of a full-scale reproduction of the vessel that changed naval warfare
  • Participate in the raising of the turret by NOAA and Navy crews in the Recovery Theater
  • See replicas of the famous turret as it was built, as it was brought up from the ocean floor, and then see the REAL turret
Frigate gun deck

Walk on a replica gun deck of a wooden 1798 warship, where the vulnerabilities of the age of sail can be sensed.

Ironclad Revolution exhibition entrance

The entrance to the Ironclad Revolution exhibition

Ironclad Revolution's large artifact gallery

The large artifact gallery in Ironclad Revolution, where you can see the Monitor’s propeller, engine register, conserved artifacts, video kiosks, and more.

USS Monitor's red signal lantern

The USS Monitor’s red signal lantern was the last object seen by the Monitor’s crew. It later became the first artifact recovered from the wreck site in 1977. See it conserved and on display.