The central business district of Bombay is called the Fort area after the long-vanished British fortifications around the harbour which were built in the seventeenth century.
A British town ship grew up inside the fort walls even as the Portuguese, in their mainland enclave of Bassein, were fighting for survival against the Marathas. A few wealthy Indian merchants were allowed to build houses inside the fort.
With control assured over India, the fort walls were torn down, and the area was converted into the central district of Bombay city. Many of the landmarks date from this period-- the Flora Fountain, the Victoria Terminus, the Municipal Corporation building, the University, etc. During the cotton boom and after the transformation of this area into the central business district was complete, and the process of splitting off the suburbs into residential districts had begun.
Businesses moved into the Fort area, displacing residents. More of Bombay's landmarks were built in this and adjoining areas. The Fort area took on the character that it still has.