IT is a repeated refrain - Glasgow must try harder when it comes to looking after its historic buildings.

We have some of the finest Victorian architecture in the UK. Yet stroll up Hope Street and there’s Lion Chambers looming over the city centre, part-towerblock and part-castle. A skinny noodle of a building, its beautiful facade is wrapped in mesh to stop it crumbling onto the footway below.

This is one of our most architecturally significant buildings. Built in 1904, around the time much of the city’s tenements were being constructed, it used revolutionary reinforced concrete techniques to rise to eight stories high.

It is now A-listed yet crumbling.

Almost every corner of the city has a decaying former primary school. These sturdy square Edwardian lovelies now squat with weeds growing from cracks in their brickwork and bits of guttering hanging loose.

Our Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson buildings have fared badly - say, the Caledonia Road Church in the Gorbals and we could spend all day lamenting the A-listed Egyptian Halls.

There was mass outrage last month when it was announced the Winter Gardens on Glasgow Green is in trouble. Our clutch of glorious Victorian glasshouses are all in bother - bar the fortunate Botanic Gardens structure - as they cost so much to upkeep.

People were furious about the idea Glasgow’s People’s Palace and Winter Gardens could close. It was one of the best read stories on the Evening Times website all year and politicians were quick to be seen to be doing (or, at least, saying) something.

So you might expect the news that our homes are about to fall down around our ears to generate more, or as much, stramash.

A report shows 46,600 tenement flats, built before 1919, have been deemed dangerous. Council officials say the housing stock urgently needs structural, weather-tightening and restoration work.

Glasgow’s tenement buildings are famous, renowned. Unless you’re trying to order something online from outwith Scotland. Nowhere else understands our flat numbering system.

It’s Flat 2/1. “Non-numerical characters are not accepted.” ARGH. Anyway.

Local slate and stone was used to build them in all sorts of styles and sizes. On a street near where I live there is a tenement block where one building has been sandblasted clean and the other still wears years of dust; one is vanilla, one is coal.

Not too far from there are tenements that should stand as a warning to the rest of the city.

On one block the front has entirely come away. Families were evacuated and will be rehoused elsewhere while two years of repair work is underway.

Another block was subject to subsidence and, again, evacuated.

I've been writing about subsiding buildings,partial collapses and evacuated families since I started with the Evening Times nine years ago and yet the issue doesn't seem to generate much heat.

Perhaps because, unless it's happening directly to them, people struggle to care. The figure - 46,600 - is difficult for people to envisage.

But we should all care. Many of these properties are privately owned but these emergency situations always involve support from Glasgow City Council, putting strain on other services.

The city is already facing a bill in the hundreds of millions to settle equal pay claims for shortchanged women workers. The final repair bill for our tenements could be as much as £2.9 billion across the city.

Tenements are a significant part of the housing stock across the city. They are precious as homes and as part of Glasgow's built heritage.

We can't afford a return to the clearances of the 1960s where tenements were flattened, rather than refurbished, and replaced with buildings that were cheap to build but didn't provide longevity or need skilled workers to build them.

In Govanhill local housing associations are taking over flats owned by private landlords who have failed to invest in their properties and keep them at tolerable standard.

Perhaps a city-wide uber-factor is needed to take over care of our tenements. They would require legislation changes to make compulsory purchase more straightforward, access government grants and give financial penalties for failing to upkeep buildings.

But whatever the outcome, we need to be paying closer attention to finding a solution.