OVER the weekend residents of Glasgow have been making a dire pilgrimage to the city centre to view the remnants of the Glasgow School of Art.

Pockets of people have gathered at the police cordon to view the damage for themselves. They came to pay tribute to the still smouldering remains of the Rennie Mackintosh masterpiece, that living and breathing art work providing space for some of the city’s greatest modern artists to develop their craft.

Shock, grief and disbelief have been mixed with anger at fire ravaging this building, affectionately known as the Mack, for a second time.

How can this have happened again and - it would appear - worse than last time?

While the devastation caused to the Mackintosh Building is heartbreaking, the damage to the adjacent ABC is worth attention too.

It is also a building that holds many memories for Glasgow’s population.

I remember going to the ABC cinema to see a remake of Psycho for my friend Janet’s birthday. It was the first time we’d been allowed to travel to the city centre and go to film on our own. A milestone event.

As a club, I can’t count the number of nights spent under the giant disco ball, shaking out the stress of university exams, dancing away heartbreak, bonding with friends. That dance floor has absorbed love, tears and many, many spilled Jägerbombs.

It’s easy to be sentimental. But the issue isn’t about sentiment.

The ABC is a huge boon to the city’s music scene. Capacity-wise, it fits snuggly in the middle of smaller venues - like King Tuts - and the largest, such as the Hydro, so is a showcase for bands making their way up in the industry or for those who have peaked and are on their way back down.

It’s a huge part of the city centre’s night time economy and will be seriously missed if it cannot be restored.

The ripple effects will be considerable too - from the food vendors nearby on Sauchiehall Street, to the bar staff, security staff, gig promoters and roadies.

On its own, a fire devastating the ABC would have been a huge story for the city. But having happened in the way that it has, the ABC is a secondary event.

That does not mean the building shouldn’t be mourned or fought for. It could be argued the building has as much relevance to the average Glasgow resident as the Mack.

Susan Aitken, the leader of Glasgow City Council, is promising a Sauchiehall Street taskforce will be convened to look at the future of the street, which has taken a battering in recent months given the Victoria’s nightclub fire in March.

Glasgow isn’t always too good at looking after its buildings. We’ve seen a lengthy struggle over the future of the Egyptian Halls on Union Street, the Linen Bank in the Gorbals is now to find a new home as flats and commercial units after lying derelict for decades.

The Alexander Greek Thomson church nearby has similarly been left to crumble, although it is finding a new purpose as a community garden. Again, on the south side, the B-listed St Margaret’s Polmadie Church is in a dire state.

The Lion Chambers, on Hope Street in the city centre, is lying empty and abandoned. Around the city are formerly beautiful cinema buildings, school buildings and churches.

The Mack generated millions of pounds in restoration funds not only due to its historic importance and its connection to Scotland’s greatest architect, but that it was a working, functioning building with strong voices to fight for it.

Buildings anchor us to our pasts, remind us constantly of where we’ve come from. We form attachments to them.

But again, sentiment isn’t enough. Sauchiehall Street is undergoing work to its streetscape as part of the Avenues project.

It will be pointless to have lovely pavements and a swish cycling route if there aren’t buildings and businesses worth visiting lining each side of what is a vital city centre artery.

There are serious questions to be asked in the aftermath of this fire and transparent, honest answers must be given.

Otherwise, the chance will be lost to rally behind turning Sauchiehall Street and the surrounds into an area of which Glasgow can rightfully be proud.