The first Catholic congregation was established in Savannah in the late 1700s by Haitian and French expatriates seeking refuge from religious persecution in their native lands. The present structure was built between 1873-1876. The spires were added in 1896 and in 1898 a fire devastated the cathedral, which was completely renovated by 1912. St. John the Baptist has seen many changes and renovations throughout its long history, but remains the heart of an active diocese.
National Register of Historic Places