Overtown is a neighborhood in central Miami.
Originally called Colored Town during the Jim Crow era of the late 19th through the mid-20th century, the area is the historic center for commerce in the Black American community in Miami and South Florida. The neighborhood also has a proud history as a historic center of Miami's nightlife, comparable to Miami Beach, and was a stomping ground for many of America's jazz greats in particular.
The area is generally considered to be an economically destitute 'ghetto', but since the late 1980s, there have been slow signs of gentrification, and a number of historic buildings have been restored.
Local residents often go by the demonym "Towners."
Overtown is roughly bounded by North 20th Street to the north, North Fifth Street to the south, the Miami River and Dolphin Expressway (SR 836) to the west, and the Florida East Coast Railway (FEC) and West First Avenue to the east.
7th Avenue Edit
An unpainted two-lane road, 7th Avenue is a hot, bright, low rise area in Overtown full of one-story, bare-basics houses with pastel painted walls and wood paneling, mostly built in the 50s. The sidewalks are chipped and cracks spider web down their length, the grass of tiny front lawns crunchy and dry yet somehow still green. For all the compactness of the houses here, the residents still take pride in their homes and protect them with chain link and wrought iron fences. Shaggy bushes and flourishing trees decorate the lawns and crowd over the narrow sidewalks.
OOC: You can rent a house here.
As of the 2000 Census, Overtown had a population of 10,029 residents, with 3,646 households, and 2,128 families residing in the city. The median household income was $13,211.99. The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 19.90% Hispanic or Latino of any race, 74.77% Black or African American, 3.27% White (non-Hispanic), and 2.05% Other races (non-Hispanic).
Overtown has a high crime rate, a fact which might be playing a role in the neighborhood's resistance to gentrification.
Crime Rate: High
Police Presence Edit
The Miami Police Department maintains a station in Overtown, although criminal activities are widespread and the officers are too few to make much of a dent in local criminal operations.
Police Presence: Very Minor.
Sabbat Info Edit
Overtown is claimed by Jacques, the Sword's newest Bishop in Miami, and Ductus of the Brotherhood of Amaranth pack, in his capacity as Bishop. Graffiti tags advertising the Bishop's claim and his responsibility for the area have begun to appear throughout the neighborhood, if you know what to look for, and where to look.
Local Buildings and Businesses of Note Edit
Camillus House Edit
This is a space destitute of comfort, but it is a roof, and it has a kitchen. Those who flock here and crowd here have usually hit their last options, as the curfews and the confiscations that Camillus House enforces to keep its occupants safe from one another encourages many a soul to seek shelter at an overpass, or on a bus stop bench. Here, families are separated, mothers from their children, and anything that could be used as a weapon is denied entrance into the space, including the crutches peddled by some and necessary by the injured many. Camillus House is a place where one learns how to stand in line: for check in before curfew, for check out on obligation to find a job, for food, for inspection.
OOC Note: Vampires can NOT take shelter here. The Camillus House forces its occupants to adhere to curfews and go out to interview for jobs. You'd fry!
Iglesia de Santa Clara Edit
This once-grand church has fallen on hard times. Not being one of the major holy places in the city, it's become something of a relic even amongst the older style Catholic places of worship that dot the landscape of Florida. The wooden front doors have been reinforced with chunks of scrap metal on the inside, fitting tightly shut when they are pushed closed, and a long metal bolt lock can be slid into place across them to keep them that way.
All religious artifacts have been removed, including any image of Christ or Mary, so that there is no question that whatever purpose this Cathedral once served in the name of the Lord God, it has ceased to be. Towards the back of the church there is a doorway that leads into what was possibly the priests' chamber. A second door leads out into the cemetery behind the church. The walls have been spray painted with all manner of gang graffiti and youth markings, desecrating the once holy imagery that dominated the grand hallway leading up to the dais and altar. The pews have been removed, leaving lots of open space for places to crash or practice. Most of those windows are hollow archways covered over by metal sheeting - perhaps what was once metal siding - bolted into the cement wall.