Built in 1891 for the Tracy Shoe Company, this structure has recently been restored and repurposed by the YEI Corporation, a locally owned firm specializing in software solutions and other digital technologies. YEI’s success and the Tracy Building’s renaissance is evidence of the city’s evolution at the beginning of the twenty-first century.
The Tracy Shoe Company had its origins in an earlier industrial age, in 1855, when Charles P. Tracy founded his wholesale shoe business. Following his death, in 1874, the company was managed by a younger brother, Henry Reed Tracy. Interestingly, in a city once known for the manufacture of shoes, the firm never made shoes itself, but rather focused its efforts on the national wholesale shoe market, selling Portsmouth boots and shoes across the United States.