Up to $75 for a bicycle in 1901 (per the Metropolis ad featured in the article). Adjusted for inflation, that's one heck of a bike!
I would say that every notable city in the world has an identifiable core with characteristics that stand for the identity of the metropolitan area surrounding it. Unfortunately, this is working all too well with our downtown. Ours reflects failures in planning, lack of vision, absence of creativity, conservatism, a disdain for history, worship of the automobile over mass transit, a desire for quick fixes that don't stand the test of time, superficiality over substance, a lack of regard for quality of life, little emphasis on the value of higher education, and an overall inability to execute successfully on a community wide basis.
If we want people to think the very best of Jacksonville, downtown will have to address all of the above and project a sense of vibrancy, energy, culture, enthusiasm, team work, forward-thinking, interconnectiveness, and great leadership. Until it does, we will remain more backwater than uptown. I think we all see the potential but no one has been able to stop the downward spiral of downtown since the end of WWII. There are lots of reasons but it's time to learn from lessons of the past and successes by others and move forward. Who will lead us to the "promised land"?