Chesapeake City Council renames park after juvenile court Judge Eileen Olds

Chesapeake

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A local park in Chesapeake will now be renamed after the first Black woman judge to serve the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court in Chesapeake.

On Tuesday, Chesapeake City Council voted unanimously to rename Courtyard Square Park at the municipal center as the Honorable Judge Eileen Olds Square Park. They approved $80,000 to rename and improve the park.

“I’m feeling history. I’m thinking of a lot of memories,” Dr. Olds told WAVY on Wednesday.

The move didn’t come without previous contention, however.

In May, 10 On Your Side spoke with Dr. Francine Olds, Eileen Olds’ identical twin.

They mirror each other in appearance and in the pain experienced back in May when Dr. Olds learned her idea to name Juvenile Court for her sister was quietly scrapped. Instead, the building was named for Circuit Court Judge E. Preston Grissom, who died in 2019.

That plan collapsed when that judge’s family found out about the controversy.

The Olds twins (WAVY Photo)

Council members Don Carey and Steven Best then crafted a plan to rename Courtyard Park for Judge Olds. The public weighed in Tuesday night.

“I don’t like to dwell on what went wrong but last night was a big first step,” said Olds.

She made history in 1995, becoming the first woman and first Black person to preside over Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court in Chesapeake. In 2007, she became the only Virginia resident to become the president of the Amerian Judges Association.

The Judge Eileen Olds Courtyard park will include a lighted clock tower, a bronze plaque and improved landscaping. Stay with WAVY News 10 for updates on the project.

Courtyard Square Park in Chesapeake

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