Francis Street extends from Spencer to King streets in an east-west direction, bordered by Little Collins Street to the north and Collins Street to the south. It was named after James Goodall Francis, and English-born politician and merchant. He held the Trade and Customs portfolio in 1866, at the same time that the Government Shipping Offices were built on Francis Street fronting Spencer Street. Other businesses located on this busy street in later years included two soap manufacturers, a coffee department, and a concentrated milk company. Number 27 Francis Street is also the location of the heritage-listed former McPherson's Building, known as the MMBW Laboratories after 1975. Designed by Stuart P. Calder in conjunction with architects K. Reid and J. Pearson, it was constructed between 1935-36 as an office, showroom and warehouse for Sir William McPherson's hardware empire. This building is architecturally significant to Melbourne as an exceptional example of the early modern style, heavily influenced by European architecture that became popular in the city.