LARGELY neglected during his lifetime, Charles Rennie Mackintosh has since become one of Glasgow’s most beloved sons.

His School of Art, with its elegant merging of function and beauty, was more than the sum of its parts. It was the symbol of a city.

Now facing imminent demolition, its absence will leave a gaping hole in the heart of Glasgow. But Mackintosh’s extraordinary legacy lives on.

Some 30km west, Helensburgh’s Hill House – designed by Mackintosh and his wife, the artist Margaret Macdonald – has been experiencing serious problems of its own.

Neil Oliver, president of the National Trust for Scotland, recently said it was in danger of "dissolving like an aspirin in a glass of water" due to long-term exposure to wind and rain.

Efforts to preserve the structure for future generations will see it enclosed within a gigantic mesh box while its walls dry out. It’s an innovative solution to a complex problem.

Meanwhile, next week the famous Willow Tea Rooms on Sauchiehall Street will reopen to the public following a £10 million refurbishment aimed at restoring its Edwardian splendour.

Mackintosh oversaw every detail of the iconic attraction, from the furniture to the teaspoons. It has been painstakingly recreated by conservation specialists Simpson and Brown.

Celia Sinclair, chairwoman of the Willow Tea Rooms Trust, has insisted it will exist as a “living, breathing museum - not something cast in aspic”.

It's a sentiment echoed across Glasgow, as Mackintosh's masterpieces have found new life against the backdrop of an ever-changing city.

His first public commission – a building for the Glasgow Herald in 1985 – is today home to The Lighthouse, Scotland's Centre for Design and Architecture.

Scotland Street School in Tradeston, on the south bank of the River Clyde, is now a museum telling the story of 100 years of education, from the late 19th century to the late 20th century.

And the striking Queen's Cross Church on Garscube Road – the only church Mackintosh designed which was ever built – is home to the society dedicated to protecting and promoting his legacy.

Elsewhere, House for an Art Lover in Bellahouston Park provides hope for the future of the art school, even in the face of total destruction.

Built according to plans drawn up by Mackintosh, it was finally opened to the public in 1996, long after its creator had died.

It owes its existence to Glasgow’s continuing love affair with its most celebrated architect, designer and artist.

As the city marks the 150th anniversary of Mackintosh's birth, it is more vital than ever to keep his legacy alive.