THE joke that was told when Glasgow's planners enthusiastically embraced the multi-storey flat to solve housing problems, was of the wee Glasgow wummin decanted to a high rise from her tenement, who went missing. The police were called, her old haunts were searched but there was no sign of her. Three days later she was found on the ground floor of the multi-storey clutching a scrubbing brush.When asked where she'd been, she replied: "Somebody told me it wis ma turn tae dae the stairs."

And folk singer Adam McNaughton summed up the problems of high living with his Jeely Piece Song. Even now the first lines come quickly to mind: "Oh ye cannae fling pieces oot a twenty story flat. Seven hundred hungry weans will testify to that." Thanks to Wikipedia I can tell you: "The popular Scottish folk song The Jeely Piece Song, which appeared in the1960s, humorously describes the effect of new social housing policies on the eating habits of Scottish youngsters." So now you know.

But we didn't all embrace multi-storeys heartily. My early years of reporting in Glasgow often meant standing outside a lift, ineffectually pressing a sticking button, only to be told by a passing resident: "The lifts are aff!" and contemplating a dizzying ascent on foot, with the stair-walls giving you a brief spray-painted history of the local gangs. Even if the lift worked, it would rise slowly clanking, the metal walls scored with the initials of previous occupants, and usually with a suspicious puddle in the corner that you warily avoided.

Such memories came flooding back as Glasgow's Doors Open Day at the weekend included, amongst the Victorian grandeur of buildings such as the Mitchell Library and the City Chambers, a visit to the top of 843 Crow Road, also known as Anniesland Court, and at 22 storeys, Glasgow's only A-listed tower block and the tallest listed building in Scotland. Thousands pass it every day. It is at Anniesland Cross, and is a well-known edifice for commuters from Bearsden or for tourists driving out Great Western Road to Loch Lomond.

Its slimness has hints of the art deco for the more fanciful amongst us. Others see it as a fine example of brutalism - the architectural term coined for the more stark buildings of the sixties and seventies that glorified in concrete and exposed many of its inner workings rather than disguising them with fripperies. Not everyone's a fan.

The base of 843 Crow Road is not the most seductive either, with shuttered housing offices hardly raising a passers-by spirits. But once inside, the changes were apparent. For a start there is now a locked door so shady characters cannot hang around like the multi-stories of old. Owners Glasgow Housing Association have put in a concierge system so that there is staff member on duty to help the 124 householders. And the lift is pristine. Not a single name carved upon it. And not even a hint of a smelly puddle. There are also only seven floors you can go to. How does that work?

Gordon from the GHA, on duty for Doors Open Day, explains: "There are only seven corridors, one for each three floors. We had one of the original engineers on the project who came round on a tour today. He explained that the thinking was to recreate the style of the old tenement, but laid on its side." Ok, you're losing me Gordon, but when we go up the lift I get the hang of it. When you step out on the corridor there are groups of three doors. The first takes you down an internal flight of stairs to the flat on the floor below. The middle door is the flat on that level and the third door is a flight of stairs to the flat above. So only seven corridors are needed.

Now some folk on the tours are students of architecture. Others just want to see the view. Readers will correct me if I'm wrong, but unlike other cities such as Paris with the Eiffel Tower, New York with the Empire State Building, and even Edinburgh with the Sir Walter Scott Monument, Glasgow lacks somewhere to view the entire city. Yes I know there is the Glasgow Tower at the Science Centre, but I have given up trying to work out when it is open or when it is closed for repairs. So getting to the top of 843 Crow Road is a treat. Even better, resident Allan Stewart on the top floor, who has lived here for 17 years, really embraced Doors Open Day and volunteered to show folk round his pristine flat. He has even put out a tin of chocolates with a post-it note to help ourselves. But we are here for the view rather than sweeties.

Down the River Clyde Erskine Bridge is an easy landmark. "On a clear day," says Allan, "you can even make out the flagpole on top of Dumbarton Castle." Or Goat Fell on Arran. Round the back, the Campsies stand out against the blue sky.

A plane is coming in to land at Glasgow Airport. Your eye can follow it down to even the point where a puff of smoke or dust comes off the wheels. Nearer the flat you can see behind the tenements on Crow Road and observe for the first time how large some of the back court areas are. You could have a decent game of cricket on one that I never realised was there, hidden away as it is.

"But does it move in the wind?" I ask Allan. Well of course it does. Tall buildings would fall down if they didn't sway a little. "It is subtle," says Allan. "I have noticed the light fittings move a bit."

So although high living is not for everyone, and many of the high rises are being demolished, Anniesland Court is popular, always let, and is, after all, in a prime location in Glasgow's west end.

Even better, Glasgow Housing Association does the stairs, so you don't have to disappear for three days.