Sometime after that, it re-opened as L'Annam, a restaurant that served Vietnamese food. I remember going once and thinking it was fine, but no great shakes. Regardless, it held court on that corner for years. Right above it was 13, a sort of cut-rate dance club with no readily definable motif. I went there as well a couple of times in the late `90s, but never thought much of it.
Within the last six months or so, L'Annam closed without a word, and the exterior of the place fell into disrepair. When Occupy Wall Street set up shop in Union Square this past spring, the alcoves of L'Annam's doors served as makeshift overnight shelters for the more devoted participants. Beyond that, the place just continued to erode.
In the last couple of weeks, a sidewalk shed sprouted up around it, and as I walking home this evening, I noticed that the building's antiquated infrastructure -- replete with what looks like thin Corinthian columns -- has been exposed like a stark reminder of the original building's considerable age. It now looks like 13 is on stilts.
What will become of the space next is anyone's guess.