The site of the Everett Building was initially part of the colonial farm owned by Dutch settler Cornelius Tiebout. Union Square was first laid out in the Commissioners' Plan of 1811, expanded in 1832, and then made into a public park in 1839. The completion of the park led to the construction of mansions surrounding it, and the Everett House hotel, located on the north side of East 17th Street. was among one of several fashionable buildings completed around Union Square. After the American Civil War, Union Square became a primarily commercial area and many mansions were destroyed, including Everett House. By the first decade of the 20th century, Union Square had grown into a major transportation hub with several elevated and surface railroad lines running nearby, and the New York City Subway's 14th Street–Union Square station having opened in 1904.