Senaida Sullivan, 92; Preservationist, Descendant of Pioneer L.A. Family

Senaida Sullivan, active preservationist and descendant of a Los Angeles pioneer family, has died in the historic adobe house where she spent her life. She was 92.

Her son, Gerald Sullivan, said Mrs. Sullivan died Thursday in the house in the Pico Robertson area.

The adobe house, one of a handful still standing from Southern California’s rancho era, was built in 1865 by Mrs. Sullivan’s father, Antonio Rocha Jr.

Her grandfather, Antonio Rocha Sr., from Portugal, was one of the first foreigners to live in Los Angeles, according to Nancy Fernandez of the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Board. The Rocha family held a Mexican land grant for Rancho la Brea.


Mrs. Sullivan was also a direct descendant of Pedro Amador, who accompanied Gaspar de Portola on his historic march to Monterey in 1769.

The adobe house was included in a 1958 survey of historic American buildings for the Library of Congress and designated Monument No. 13 by the Los Angeles Cultural Heritage Board in 1963.

Mrs. Sullivan served on the Cultural Heritage Board from 1962 to 1973 and was president in 1964. She was state chairwoman of the historical landmark committee of the Native Daughters of the Golden West.