Basically, this rich lady with the last name "Thorne" really liked history and really liked dollhouses, so she made a bunch of drawings and paid for a bunch of craftsmen to make these rooms based on historical periods in Europe and America. They're kind of amazing, so check them out.
On a recent visit to the Art Institute, my mother and I went back to visit said Thorne Rooms. On our way out of the exhibit, an elderly woman in a wheelchair was coming in.
The lovely security worker, conveniently standing at the exhibit entrance, stepped in front of the woman and said,
"You have to leave the wheelchair outside."
I thought this was a mildly absurd statement, but sure enough, parked outside the exhibit was another wheelchair that some poor soul had been forced to leave behind.
Now, this particularly elderly woman was not able to leave her wheelchair outside. Because she couldn't walk. Because she was in a wheelchair. She turned right around and left.
My mother (being my mother) went up to the security worker and asked why wheelchairs had to be left outside, to which the worker replied,
"Well, she wouldn't have been able to see anything anyway."
This might have been accurate. The miniature rooms are set into the walls at about chest level for someone standing up, so sitting down would make it difficult to see them. Nonetheless, my mom asked why it couldn't be left up to the patrons to decide whether they wanted to try and see them or not.
"Well," the worker answered, "wheelchairs are a fire hazard."
Realizing that the worker had no actual reason for turning this patron away and was BSing her answers, we left. My mother proceeded to ask the information desk whether any areas of the museum were not handicapped accessible. They said no.
Good work, museum security worker. Good work for denying the elderly and the handicapped access to one of the most well known exhibits at your museum and for breaking museum rules and for being filled with general bigotry.