Founded in 1866 and incorporated in Monaca, Beaver County, in 1870, Thiel College is the oldest Lutheran institution of higher learning west of the Allegheny Mountains. In 1870, Greenville residents offered the school seven acres and $20,000 to relocate here. The cornerstone was laid for the brick, Italianate Greenville Hall in 1872, and it was dedicated in 1874. Two handsome brick buildings in a smooth-surfaced Collegiate Gothic style were designed by Pittsburgh architect Edward B. Lee and his associate John H. Phillips: the Roth Administration Building of 1912–1913 and the 1922 Rissell Gymnasium.
The campus developed south of the administration building first, and then expanded
In the late 1990s, Urban Design Associates renovated Greenville Hall and reconfigured Livingston Hall–Howard Miller Center in a Georgian Revival style. The American Institute of Architects Pittsburgh chapter recognized the school's first stand-alone chapel, designed by William Brocious for Desmone and Associates (2005; 94 College Avenue), with a 2006 Design Award for the red brick and limestone building's simple program and elegant natural wood interior.