Old Bradford

At the end of the English Civil War, the city of Bradford in Yorkshire, the final stronghold of the Roundheads, fell upon hard times. With the opening up of land in the new world, many former supporters of Oliver Cromwell decided to take their leave. When they arrived in the newly founded colony of Portsmouth, they found themselves unwelcomed by the loyalist founders, so moved south. In order to avoid the Puritans of the Massachusetts Bay colony, they found themselves on a peninsula, across the bay from the northernmost Massachusetts Bay colony town of Kingsport, and named themselves after their former home in England.

Following the Glorious Revolution, and the ascension of William and Mary to the throne of England, Bradford found itself in a rather precarious state. Much like the Plymouth Bay colony, Bradford was never legally chartered as a colony in the first place, effectively being created by squatters. To resolve this, William and Mary merged Bradford, Plymouth Bay, and the Massachusetts bay colonies into a single charter, the newly christened Province of Massachusetts Bay.

With the increase in Trans-Atlantic trading in the 17th and 18th centuries, many port towns simply found themselves with more ships arriving than places for them to unload. Bradford became one of the many towns outside of the primary colonial trade hub of Boston which grew rapidly to accommodate the demand. But when Bradford existed in a quasi-legal state, traders had avoided it rather than risk their lucrative trade charters. Now legally part of Massachusetts, Bradford's location became attractive to these various trading groups, and by the end of the 19th century was a moderately sized hub of its own.

After the fire of 1908, Bradford was one of the first districts to be rebuilt. Now referred to as Old Bradford following the formation of Titan City, it became filled with cheap housing designed to house workers and displaced families in the immediate aftermath. As these groups moved on and the city rebuilt, Old Bradford became neglected, almost forgotten as Titan City grew around it. This benign neglect however became the origin of what defines Old Bradford today.

By the 1960's, Old Bradford was reborn a neighborhood of artists and musicians, thespians and pulp writers, struggling to make ends meet while practicing their crafts and passions. The housing was cheap, the restaurants were cramped and ugly but the food was good, the streets were dirty but frequently featured gorgeous art, and nobody really put on airs because everyone was about equally impoverished, and all for much the same reasons – they were doing it for the art. This in turn generated what can be considered a mini-renaissance, defining the district we know today.

In gradual waves, however, the consumers of art began to move into the neighborhood, bringing with them lots of new money. As as they moved in, they began the work of 'improving' the neighborhood. Today, Old Bradford is renovated and clean, and is home almost entirely to wealthy poseurs. People rent atrociously expensive historical houses or bare-concrete studio apartments and pretend to be bohemian. While the district still has street art (in fact, it is difficult to find walls that aren't painted or covered in flyers), and while the food is still good (arguably better than ever), and while the music and acting scenes are still lively, the artists themselves no longer find Old Bradford home. The rent is much too high for them, now.

Neighborhoods

  • Officially known as Scholarton for its proximity near Ephestus University, this area of uncomfortably narrow and poorly planned streets is more commonly referred to as "The Maze." It is an area of old residences, mostly Victorian houses that managed to survive the fire.
  • The Park and Garden district is centered around a large public park, Byrne Park. Around it, one can find multiple privately owned smaller gardens, open-air shops, restaurants, clubs and party halls.
  • One of the very first areas to be rebuilt after the fire, Firetown still has many many of its turn-of-the-century rowhouses intact, having been carefully (or carelessly) maintained from that time, although many were destroyed in the Hurricane Atlas incident and then reconstructed.
  • The Theater District was planned to be Titan Cities answer to Broadway, but today mostly consists of shopping venues, museums, and clubs. The clubs range from old jazz halls to coffee houses with live music to neon-lit multilevel dance halls where they play the latest flavors of trance and beatdrop. The museums here are mostly open to the public.