The University of Tennessee at Martin’s Grove Apartments were home for decades to married students who attended the university. Later they also served as meeting space for university sororities and housed international students. The apartments, located on the city block surrounded by University, Moody and Oxford streets and Lovelace Avenue, will become part of UT Martin’s past starting Monday, Dec. 4, when demolition of the units begins.
Allen Searcy Builder-Contractor Inc. received the Notice to Proceed with demolition Nov. 2 and the area was fenced Nov. 6. Utilities were terminated and asbestos abatement began, which cleared the way for demolition to start. Work will begin with the A Building, move east to C Building and then clockwise around the complex ending with B Building near the basketball courts. Everything except the large trees and northeast corner parking lot will be removed when the project is complete. The demolition is expected to be completed in the next few months.
According to the Paul Meek Library’s “History of the University of Tennessee at Martin” website, the Grove Apartments were built in 1964-65 on part of the property given to the Hall-Moody Institute, predecessor to UT Martin, by prominent local businessman W.H. Lovelace. Ten buildings containing 88 apartments were built in Lovelace Grove to house a growing number of married students. The complex also supplemented housing for single male students until new men’s dormitories were completed in 1966-67. The apartments were last occupied in May 2019.
Plans to use the space are not final, but the cleared site will initially offer more green space and a gathering point for different activities. For information, contact the UT Martin Office of University Relations at 731-881-7615.