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OBITUARY: Anthony Hars, 79, Architect

Anthony Hars, age 79, of Groton, died March 22, 2013. Born Antal Emil Hars in Hungary in 1933, he was the son of György and Adél Hars, and grandson of Emil Nagy de Vámos, a prominent attorney, Hungarian parliament member and Minister of Justice. He received his degree in architecture from Technical University of Budapest in 1956.

During the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, he left the country and immigrated to the United States, where he Americanized his name to Anthony, becoming an American citizen in 1963. A licensed architect and member of American Institute of Architects and Boston Society of Architects, he began his career at top firms such as Eleanor La Maire Associates in New York City and Anshen & Allen in San Francisco. As project architect with the James Lawrence firm in Boston into the early 1970s, he helped create Gothic-style greenhouses at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, as well as the museum's café, shop and library. Other projects included North Adams State College (now Mass. College of Liberal Arts), and many private residences, including one for Olympic gold medal skater Tenley Albright.

He moved his family to Groton in 1967, where he first lived in and helped preserve the Lawrence Homestead mansion. He set up private practice in Groton in 1972. While steeped in modern tradition, he had a deep respect for the surrounding land as a context for his work. As such he designed many beautiful homes and businesses throughout New England. Speaking of the magnificent home he designed and built for himself on Long Hill Road in Groton in the early 1980s, he told a local newspaper, "I love space. I will buy space above all else in a building budget. You cannot add space. Area, yes, but space, no."

Beyond his professional life, he also firmly believed in service to the community. As such, he served many years as the head and member of Groton Historic District Commission, working tirelessly to ensure that the traditional character of the town center was preserved. He was one of the founders and president of Groton Music Association, which paved the way for Indian Hill Music Center, now a major cultural institution in the region. For many years, he served on and chaired the town School Committee. He was a former president and lifetime member of Groton Rotary Club; and he opened his home to meetings for many a political candidate and worthy cause.

He loved opera, art, writing, literature, history and travel. A published author, he also enjoyed painting, ballroom and swing dancing, playing the piano and the sport of fencing.

He died suddenly of a heart attack. He leaves four daughters from his marriage to the late Carol Jane Philblad (d. 1984): Adele Hars of Paris, France; Maria Hars of Groton, and Eve and Anne Hars, both of Los Angeles, CA. He married again in 1997 to Sarita B. Choate of Groton, and they spent many happy years together, until her death in 2009.

In addition to his daughters, he leaves two grandchildren, Gillian and Paxon Davis of Paris, France, step-grandson Hawxhurst Wheelock of Ascutney, VT, and his step-children, Miriam K. Truslow of Cambridge, Frederic R. Kellogg of Washington, DC, Edward B. Kellogg of Cambridge, Sarah J. Kellogg of Uberlingen, Germany, and Lily Kellogg of Denver, CO. He also leaves his older brother Jozsef Hars and his nephews Oliver and Viktor Hars of Sopron, Hungary, as well as extended family around the world.

Anthony Hars was cherished for his warmth, charm, erudition, talent and culture. His daughters plan to host a celebration of his life for his family and friends at the family home in Groton on the afternoon of July 20, 2013. Please contact the family for details.

Groton Herald

Mailing Address
P.O. Box 610, Groton, Massachusetts 01450

145 Main Street, Groton, Massachusetts 014510
[Prescott Community Center]

Telephone: 978-448-6061

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