The General Library owes its completion in 1928 to a great amount of both domestic and international goodwill. The former Library had been destroyed in the 1923 Great Kanto Earthquake, and reconstruction was made possible with a donation from John D. Rockefeller, Jr. The extensive collection of books that had been burnt were replaced by books presented by donors from both Japan and abroad. The General Library has an exquisite front design, which is described as resembling a row of books facing the plaza. Inside the Library, a grand staircase leads to a magnificent space reminiscent of those found in Roman basilicas. This Library was designed by Professor Yoshikazu Uchida, who devoted himself to its completion in the prime of his career. The General Library is considered one of his best works.