As its name suggests, the building was designed to house medical and dental offices, with a ground-floor pharmacy and a medical library on the 14th floor. Its purpose was to cluster medical and dental services in one place, improving San Diego's medical scene as well as providing a profitable business venture; a similar business model had succeeded in a dozen cities across the country. The original owners were a group of professional men headed by Charles Lineaweaver. Tenancy was restricted to licensed physicians and dentists; the rule was enforced by a Board of Directors and Officers.
As time went on the focus of San Diego's medical community shifted uptown toward Hillcrest, where Mercy Hospital and the UCSD Hospital were located. The building was no longer restricted to doctors and dentists but was used more and more for general office tenants, including at various times government offices, the public defender's office, and the San Diego Chamber of Commerce. During the 1980s the name was changed to the Centre City Building. Much of the building remains vacant, other than a few tenants such as the San Diego Opera.
The building is 14 stories high with a foundation that encloses a concrete subterranean basement. It is built in an L configuration, with the two wings fronting A Street and 3rd Avenue. Its elegant neoclassical revival design with decorative facade with brick, quarried granite and ornamental cast iron trim details exemplify the period's designers' belief that a building should include a clearly defined base, middle, and top.
Unique features include a gabled rooftop finished with Spanish tile, a gravel-covered lower observation roof over a rolled mineral surface, and rosette-style windows. The building has a reinforced concrete frame structure, also known as ductile frame construction. The exterior walls are concrete, clad faced with granite on the lowest three stories and with brick on the remainder of the building. Interior features include a marble lobby floor and staircase with a restored coffered ceiling.
It has 88,000 square feet of office space and 7,000 square feet of ground floor retail space. The building is owned by the Lamden Family Trust.