In 1971, Diane Silverman founded Urban Search, a firm specializing in the sale of condominiums (then, a new concept) on the north side of Chicago. As Urban Search was growing and thriving on the north side, Diane turned her attention to Hyde Park/Kenwood, the neighborhood in which she had lived since she was a University of Chicago student.
Diane transferred from Brandeis University to the University of Chicago at the beginning of her junior year. Later that year she became the Editor-In-Chief of the Hyde Park Herald, a post she held for two and a half years, while she was a full-time undergraduate and (later) graduate student at the University. That job, during the days and evenings in which the high drama of the Federal Urban Renewal project for the Hyde Park neighborhood was being played out, cemented her passion for Hyde Park/Kenwood.
In the early 1970s, Hyde Park and Kenwood experienced racial transition, some "white flight" and an enormous amount of bad press. The conventional wisdom was that if you remodeled your kitchen, no matter how beautifully, you would never recoup the money when you sold the property. Diane believed fervently that this unique neighborhood--with fantastic architecture, an interesting and diverse group of residents with highly developed civic consciences and more than a smattering of brilliance, a location 15 or 20 minutes from downtown Chicago and within walking distance to the campus of one of the major educational institutions of the world--would rebound and once again become a premier Chicago neighborhood.
Diane began listing and selling not just condominiums and new condominium conversions but, also, cooperatives, houses and mansions. She hired--in both her North and South-Side offices--salespeople who had no previous experience selling real estate but had backgrounds in a wide range of interesting fields (art history, design, education, writing, law) and whom she felt would sell real estate with the requisite passion, skill and intelligence.
Diane has listed and sold real estate in Chicago, as well as managing her North and South Side offices, for over 38 years. She loves helping buyers to identify the lifestyle they want and then make it possible to transform their dream into a reality. She says that it is gratifying to meet a client whom she may not have seen for 20 years and have that person take her hand and say, "You changed my life!"
Diane has been an active member of the Hyde Park/Kenwood community. She served on the Board of Directors of the Hyde Park/Kenwood Development Corporation, the Women's Board of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, the Board of Directors of the Renaissance Society of the University of Chicago and the Board of the Quadrangle Club of the University of Chicago.
She was the President of the Board of Directors of the Ancona School for several years and chaired five benefits to fund a unique Ancona Head Start program for children in Grades 1-3.
For 17 years she was a Board Member at K.A.M. Isaiah Israel Congregation; for three of those years she was on the Executive Committee. She was a founding member of the K.A.M. Isaiah Israel/Max and Gretel Janowski Fund.
Diane has been a Board Member of Art Smith's Common Threads organization since its inception in 2003.
Diane and her husband, Louis recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. Their daughter and two sons with their spouses and children, all live in Hyde Park/Kenwood.