You are here

Thiel College

-A A +A
1872–present. 75 College Ave.

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 into two quadrangles east and west of it with buildings by Arthur L. Martsolf and Associates of Beaver County. This firm designed Livingston Hall (1940), Langenheim Memorial Library (1952), Harter Residence Hall (1953), Rhodehouse Science Hall and Hodge Residence Hall (1959), and the Sawhill Residence Hall (1960). In 1962, Louis G. Martsolf, son of Arthur L., designed a group of fraternity buildings west of College Avenue. The majority of the 135-acre campus's buildings date from the immediate post–World War II decades.

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.

Writing Credits

Lu Donnelly et al.


What's Nearby


Lu Donnelly et al., "Thiel College", [Greenville, Pennsylvania], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

Print Source

Cover: Buildings of PA vol 1

Buildings of Pennsylvania: Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, Lu Donnelly, H. David Brumble IV, and Franklin Toker. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2010, 543-544.

If SAH Archipedia has been useful to you, please consider supporting it.

SAH Archipedia tells the story of the United States through its buildings, landscapes, and cities. This freely available resource empowers the public with authoritative knowledge that deepens their understanding and appreciation of the built environment. But the Society of Architectural Historians, which created SAH Archipedia with University of Virginia Press, needs your support to maintain the high-caliber research, writing, photography, cartography, editing, design, and programming that make SAH Archipedia a trusted online resource available to all who value the history of place, heritage tourism, and learning.