222 E. Harris Street
The Victorian Gothic Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist is home to the oldest Roman Catholic Church in Georgia. Designed by Baldwin and Price in the 1870s, the original building was nearly destroyed by fire in 1898, but it was immediately rebuilt using the original plans.
The Cathedral features impressive stained glass windows, which were made by Inssbruck Glassmakers in Austrian Tyrol and installed around 1900.
Savannah's first Parish was organized by French Catholic émigrés from Haiti in the 1790s. The Mayor and Aldermen of Savannah gave the congregation a partial lot on Liberty Square to build a church in 1799 and the cornerstone of the parish, called the Congrégation de Saint Jean-Baptist, was laid the following year. A larger church was built on Drayton and Perry Street in the 1830s. In July 1850, Pope Pius IX erected the Diocese of Savannah and the Church of Saint John the Baptist, then the only Catholic church in Savannah, became the Cathedral. The building underwent some renovations and the Cathedral was on rededicated on June 26, 1853.
The cornerstone for a new larger Cathedral on the present site was laid in 1873 on land obtained from the Sisters of Mercy. The Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist was dedicated to "Our Lady of Perpetual Help," a name the church used for another ten years. The brick cathedral, built with bronze-colored iron columns and groined arches was completed in 1896 with the building of the spires. Rebuilt after the devastating fire of 1898, the Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist was dedicated on October 28, 1900.
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Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist
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