This article deals with the introduction of state administrative institutions at the district level in the Habsburg Monarchy and their several reforms in the period from 1848 to 1868. It analyzes these processes in a spatial perspective and with a focus on implementation. First, it shows that new spaces of administration were constructed on several levels, especially the districts themselves and the district offices. This was done not by unilaterally expunging earlier forms of spatial organization, but rather in complex interplay with them. Numerous groups of actors were involved in negotiating this, including not only politicians and bureaucrats, but also members of the general population in various roles. In this sense there was a substantial component of ›state-building from below‹ in the creation of the district administrations. Finally, some consequences arising from the new organization of space are outlined, from the quantitative increase in state administrative activity via improved possibilities for production and use of spatial knowledge to advances in the construction of the territory as a unitary space of the state.