The building was originally completed in 1965-66 and designated the Earth Science Laboratory.
On 2 December 1973 the building was dedicated to the memory of geophysicist Dr. Edward C. Thiel, who had been killed in a tragic VX-6 aircraft crash at Wilkes in November 1961.
The dedication was documented in this January-February 1974 Antarctic Journal article:
After the dedication, the building was known as the Thiel Earth Sciences Laboratory (TESL), and there was a gravity station behind the building, documented here.
After the Crary Lab was completed, the building was used by the Field Safety Training Program ("F-STOP") until it was demolished in February 2007 to make way for a new MOGAS tank.
More information on the crash that led to Ed Thiel's death: documentation from Billy-Ace Baker on Dave Riley's site, from Darryn Schneider, and from a May 2012 Antarctic Sun article about a plaque erected at the crash site.
The photo at the top of this page is from the Antarctic Photo Library (link to original).